Tajikistan

IFAD Asset Request Portlet

Country

Tajikistan

5

Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 167.82 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 90.81 million

Total IFAD financing

127,310

Households impacted

The Context

Tajikistan is a landlocked country with China to the east and Afghanistan to the south. Its population is estimated to be 9,313,800 people in 2020, 74 per cent of which live in rural areas. It is the poorest country among the former Soviet republics, with per capita GDP estimated at US$ 874 in 2020. GDP was US$ 8.117 billion in 2019, of which 20 per cent was from the agriculture sector.

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, which represents 28 per cent of the GDP. The agricultural sector contributes almost 20 per cent to the national GDP and provides 61 percent of the country’s employment. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant adverse impact on the national economy, with the real GDP growth slowing to 4.2 per cent in the first nine months of 2020 (compared to the 7.2 per cent growth in the previous year). Tajikistan agriculture 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 26 per cent in 2020. While Tajikistan has seen progress in reducing poverty, the country remains in 125th 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.

The Strategy

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.

Country Facts

Tajikistan has done a remarkable job in reducing poverty. Between 2000 and 2020, poverty fell from over 83 per cent to about 26 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.

Country documents

Related Assets

Republic of Tajikistan Country Strategic Opportunities Programme 2019-2024 Type: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme
Region: Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia

Expert-Country-Highrise (no delete)

Projects and Programmes

Projects Browser

PLANNED Under design after concept note approval

APPROVED Approved by the Executive Board or IFAD President

SIGNED Financing agreements signed

ONGOING Under implementation

CLOSED Completed/closed projects

No matching projects were found
No matching projects were found

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IFAD US$39 million investment to stimulate inclusive economic growth in Tajikistan

February 2018 - NEWS
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Republic of Tajikistan signed a financing agreement today to reduce poverty and stimulate inclusive economic growth in poor rural communities.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies

May 2015 - NEWS
Rome, Italy May 7, 2015 – Ambassador David Lane, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, will travel to Tajikistan

UN agency to build climate resilience among pastoralists in Tajikistan

February 2016 - NEWS
Rome, 3 February 2016 – The Republic of Tajikistan and the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed an agreement today

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Raising hope and opportunity in rural Tajikistan: Obidova’s story

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Obidova is busy these days. Whether she’s setting up a new shelter for her birds or going to the markets to sell, her days are filled with taking care of her family and her poultry business. But just a year ago, things looked very different.

Help farmers and the planet? Yes, we can

December 2019 - STORY
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.

Water breathes new life into an isolated mountain village in Tajikistan

April 2016 - STORY
Tolib Yormahmadov and villagers lay water supply lines from a mountain spring 2.5km from the village Rome, 22 March – Tolib Yormahmadov lives in a valley

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Impact Assessment: Livestock and Pasture Development Project

December 2018
In Khatlon Oblast, the poorest region of Tajikistan, decades of overgrazing has degraded pastoral land leading to low milk and meat production, food insecurity and malnutrition in rural areas.

Investing in rural people in Tajikistan

October 2018
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

April 2018
Investments in smallholder goat development and related value chains are effective means to reduce poverty and increase the incomes of men and women from resource-poor households. They are also effective channels to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in remote mountainous areas.

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Tajikistan: United We Stand

August 2018 - VIDEO
Despite recent economic growth, the Republic of Tajikistan is still one of the poorest Central Asian countries. Its rural population makes up for 3/4 of the total and relies mostly on livestock and herding as its mainstay.