US$ 116.6 million
Total Project Cost
US$ 102.31 million
Total IFAD financing
Tajikistan is a mountainous landlocked country with China to the east and Afghanistan to the south. Its population is estimated to be 7.32 million, of whom 35 per cent are under the age of 15.
Despite rapid growth in recent years, Tajikistan’s economy remains fragile due to uneven implementation of structural reforms, weak governance, widespread unemployment, seasonal power shortages and a heavy external debt burden.
GDP per head was US$804 in 2016, according to the World Bank. Yet since independence, Tajikistan has done a remarkable job in reducing poverty, which fell from over 83 per cent in 2000 to about 31 per cent in early 2015.
That ranks among the best achievements worldwide, says the World Bank. Yet there are still significant numbers suffering from chronic malnutrition and poverty in the country.
Because mountainous terrain compels people to congregate in its valleys, Tajikistan’s population density is about 488 people per square kilometre of arable land – one of the highest ratios of people to arable land in the world.
Unusually, Tajikistan’s rural population, which makes up about 75 per cent of the total and relies on agriculture as its mainstay, is increasing rather than decreasing. This reflects a higher fertility rate in the countryside and lack of employment opportunities in urban centres.
With over half the country at an altitude of 3,000 meters or more, much of Tajikistan’s geography is extremely challenging for sustainable farming. Mountainous terrain divides the country and makes travel and transport extremely difficult, limiting internal and external trade.
In Tajikistan, IFAD loans work to improve the livelihoods of poor rural people by strengthening their organizations and enabling them to access productive technologies and resources.
Key activities include:
- natural resource management;
- implementing land reforms; and
- strengthening local institutions and grass-roots organizations.
Tajikistan has done a remarkable job in reducing poverty. Between 2000 and early 2015, poverty fell from over 83 per cent to about 31 per cent of the population.
Tajikistan remains the poorest Central Asian country.
About 35 per cent of the population is under the age of 15.
Rural people are about 75 per cent of the total. Tajikistan relies on agriculture as its economic mainstay.
Since 2008, IFAD has invested a total of US$49.3 million in three programmes and projects related to agricultural development in Tajikistan, benefiting 79,150 households.
Projects and Programmes
IFAD US$39 million investment to stimulate inclusive economic growth in Tajikistan
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies
UN agency to build climate resilience among pastoralists in Tajikistan
Impact Assessment: Livestock and Pasture Development Project
IFAD in Tajikistan: The virtues of village organizations
IFAD and the Government of Tajikistan have been investing in building the capacities of village organizations and pasture users unions to participate in and influence processes that are important for the livelihoods of their members. The results have been very positive, as the stories contained here show. Local communities have been empowered in managing local natural resources on which they depend. The community-driven development approach is a very effective way to identify priorities (such as roads, irrigation, drinking water, electricity supply, and low-cost storage and marketing facilities) in rural communities, and has been able to provide the needed investments to improve rural livelihoods. Activities also targeted the needs of female beneficiaries, not only producing significant economic benefits but also strengthening the position of women in communities.
The participation of beneficiaries in all phases of the projects was a key ingredient in ensuring that there would be ownership, commitment and long-term impact. Members of village organizations were involved in setting priorities and decision-making from the outset. Linking community development to training and strengthening local project partners helped to ensure sustainability, so that these communities will continue to thrive in the future.
Investing in rural people in Tajikistan
IFAD has been investing in the rural poor in Tajikistan since 2008, by strengthening local institutions and grass-roots organizations, and expanding their access to land, productive technologies and resources.