Furthermore, the project improves access to banking services, as all beneficiaries’ earnings are deposited in their bank account, which is often the first time that a beneficiary opens such an account.
In Rumi District, the World Bank Country Manager met with participants of the manual cleaning of on-farm irrigation canals. The project implementation has started in the first three target districts - Jomi, Rumi and Jilikul – with more than 4,000 people being employed in cleaning of the canals. The project helped clean the total of 1,211 km of the prioritized secondary and tertiary canals and 223 km of collector and drainage networks. It also helped rehabilitate 16 km of irrigation canals, 590 outlet gates, and 197 observation wells in these three districts.
In Pyanj District, where project activities were just launched, Ms. Veevers-Carter met with the Chairman of the District Mr. Tavakkalzoda. They discussed possible solutions that the project could bring for rehabilitation and maintenance of the irrigation facilities, which suffer from heavy sedimentation from the Pyanj River. Ms. Veevers-Carter also met with members of the local Water Users Association (WUA) “Navruz”. As WUAs play an important role in maintaining the irrigation infrastructure, the project works to establish and strengthen 20 new WUAs as well as provide training and capacity building to 33 existing WUAs in the project areas.
About the Project:
The PAMPII is being financed through a US$18 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and a US$27.9 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Multi-Donor Trust Fund Program. The target districts under the new project are characterized by high levels of food insecurity, but demonstrate good agricultural potential. As such, the following districts will be the focus of irrigation and drainage infrastructure rehabilitation activities under the project: Jilikul, Jomi, Rumi, Rudaki, Yavan, Hamadoni, Vose, Bokhtar, Pyanj, Hissor, Khuroson, and Nosiri Khusrav.
It is expected that the project will directly benefit an estimated 22,000 people through the provision of temporary work only, with at least 20 percent of them being women. The rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage infrastructure will improve access to irrigation on about 190,000 hectares of land for the benefit of 750,000 residents in all target districts. Based on the pilot, 10 percent increase in crop yields is expected as a result of the project. The project will also support the ongoing institutional and policy reform in water resources management. In addition, emergency flood control works along a high-risk section of the Tebalai River in Kulyab city will reduce the risk of flooding for approximately 400 urban households as well as agriculture land and irrigation systems supported through the project down in Vose district.
The Public Employment for Sustainable Agriculture and Water Resources Management Project is one of four active projects in agriculture sector in the World Bank portfolio for Tajikistan, which are aimed to address food insecurity and improve agricultural productivity. As the World Bank commemorated its 20 years of partnership with Tajikistan in June 2013, the agricultural sector stands out as the largest recipient of World Bank overall financing, with over US$300 million estimated to date. Given that agriculture contributes 21 percent of GDP and accounts for 64 percent of employment, it will continue to be a priority area of the World Bank’s mission in Tajikistan.
The current World Bank portfolio comprises 13 investment operations with net commitments of US$220.6 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in urban, rural and social development (21%), followed by agriculture (18 %), energy (16%), governance (10 %), environment & natural resources (7%), health, nutrition and population (7 %), education (7 %), water (7 %), trade and competitiveness (5%), social protection and labor (2%)