US$ 91.6 million
Total Project Cost
US$ 77.31 million
Total IFAD financing
Tajikistan is a landlocked country with China to the east and Afghanistan to the south. Its population is estimated to be 8.9 million (2017). The poorest country among the 15 former Soviet republics, Tajikistan’s gross national income for 2017 was at US$990 per capita.
The country’s economic base is dominated by the production of aluminium and cotton (Tajikistan’s main export commodities) supplemented by remittances from Tajik nationals working abroad. In 2017, agriculture accounted for 25 per cent of the country’s GDP, playing a significant role in the livelihoods of its rural population. Agriculture in the country comprises two broad farming systems: upland areas - characterized by wheat, potatoes and horticulture along with rainfed pasture, while irrigated cotton and wheat dominate in lowlands.
Despite its critical importance, the agricultural resource base is characterized by limited arable land and a lack of investment in infrastructure, farm machinery and agricultural equipment. Livestock is a key part of the agriculture sector. However, the ability of livestock farmers to optimize the use of pastures is constrained by many problems, such as a lack of technical knowledge among small livestock holders, poor governance arrangements on pasture management, inefficient management of community livestock, shortage of feed during winter months, environmental degradation, and lack of access to good-quality fodder seed.
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.
Tajikistan has however done a remarkable job in reducing poverty over the years, which fell from over 83 per cent in 2000 to about 31 per cent in early 2015. While Tajikistan has seen progress in reducing poverty, the country remains in 129th place in the global ranking. Poverty is higher in rural areas, which are home to 73 per cent of the country’s poor people. It is the most vulnerable country in Central Asia with regard to food security: one-third of its population suffers from undernourishment
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 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.
IFAD has been investing in the rural poor in Tajikistan since 2008, by strengthening local institutions and grassroots organizations, and expanding their access to land, productive technologies and resources.
Key activities include:
- natural resource management;
- implementing land reforms; and
- strengthening local institutions and grass-roots organizations.
Overall, the impact of the IFAD country portfolio has benefited rural communities through increased investment in productive infrastructure and equipment, better management of the resource base, increased viability of agricultural production, and improved animal health and productivity.
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 73 per cent of the total. Tajikistan relies on agriculture as its economic mainstay.
Projects and Programmes
IFAD US$39 million investment to stimulate inclusive economic growth in Tajikistan
UN agency to build climate resilience among pastoralists in Tajikistan
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies
Help farmers and the planet? Yes, we can
Tajikistan is a mountainous country nestled in Central Asia. Over five million people live a rural life, the majority of them depending on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Ploughing for profits
Promoting women's development in Tajikistan
Impact Assessment: Livestock and Pasture Development Project
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.
Women-led business and value chain development; a case study in Tajikistan