Dushanbe, March 4, 2010 –The World Bank and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Tajikistan have signed a Trust Fund Agreement on additional financing of US$6.25 million to the Republic of Tajikistan to support the Emergency Food Security and Seed Imports Project.
The current grant was approved by the Russia Food Price Crisis Rapid Response Trust Fund for Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic and is administered by the World Bank.
“With the current project, the World Bank is assisting in targeting the Trust Fund financing to improve the ability of 55,000 poor households to deal with seed shortages due to poor crops,” – says Chiara Bronchi, the World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan. “In order to increase food production and diversification, this project will promote private commercial farming”.
The newly received grant will increase the domestic food production of poor rural households to help them improve their food security and nutrition and simultaneously diversify their production. Some components of the project will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and others by the Project Management Unit that deals with projects on Cotton Farm Debt Resolution and Sustainable Cotton Sector Development.
It is expected that the project will establish and maintain a revolving seed bank facility and finance purchases of quality seeds and fertilizer in selected villages through Community Production Groups assuring a more reliable source of seed in times of crop failure, which is not dependent on access to cash. The project will also strengthen input dealers’ technical capacity and facilitate their access to available sources of credit, new market linkages, information and technologies. The project would also contribute to the growth of private sector extension activity.
The initial project on Emergency Food Security and Seed Imports of the World Bank in Tajikistan started in June 2008. In the past year the project distributed wheat seeds and fertilizer to more than 71,000 households in Khatlon and alfalfa seed and fertilizer to 7,000 households in the Rasht Valley. In addition maize seeds and fertilizer were distributed to another 10, 000 food insecure households in June 2009.