Farming in Tajikistan employs around 75% of the total population, but yields so little that rural residents are in a constant struggle to make ends meet. Making matters worse are recent bad weather, outbursts of locusts and poor connections with regional markets. Food insecurity and staggering unemployment levels have become significant concerns in rural Tajikistan. To help alleviate the situation, a project funded by the European Union and administered by the World Bank created temporary jobs repairing irrigation and drainage infrastructure in parts of Khatlon region.
The Public Employment Project for Sustainable Agriculture Water Management hired 10,321 rural residents and farmers—much more than the 6,950 projected—and rehabilitated over 1,500 km of irrigation and 200 km of drainage systems in the region, while creating a number of direct and indirect social benefits.