Tajikistan: Food for work, with materials

News and Press Release
Originally published
This project aims to assist rural communities in restoring farming systems, such as rebuilding roads for market access and improving irrigation systems, allowing farmers to keep their activities functioning. The project is located in seven districts of central Tajikistan (Region of Republican Subordination) and Khatlon provinces where people receive food in exchange for labour. In order to improve agricultural infrastructure, the project concentrates on helping communities access materials for large-scale infrastructure activities.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Tajikistan has experienced economic collapse and civil war, leading to a situation where the country now produces only half its annual cereal needs and 25 percent of the population receives food aid. It is within this context of decline that Tajikistan is currently experiencing its second year of drought, causing a 36 percent decline in cereal output compared to the last five-year average. While drought is the immediate cause of reduced food access, the areas under irrigation in Tajikistan continue to decline as farm systems fall into disrepair. The Tajikistan FFW programme provides funds to communities for materials and equipment in order to allow them to maintain the infrastructure that is essential for the agricultural sector to function.

The project activities include renovation of irrigation canals, roads, bridges and other agriculture support infrastructure to enable farm-to-market commerce. Forty-four communities are currently receiving up to US$2,000 for material purchases and equipment rental to restore the farms. During the course of the project over 9,000 labourers, representing almost 400,000 days of labour will carry out work on 223 projects, each receiving 2kg of wheat flour, 100g of vegetable oil, 25g of iodised salt and 150g of pulses for each day worked.

Since the economic situation in Tajikistan does not allow for regular maintenance and upkeep of infrastructure, projects such as these enable the agriculture sector to avoid continuing decline. By targeting activities that improve the agricultural infrastructure, this project is helping both crop production (through improved irrigation systems) and farm-to-market access (through improved roads and bridges) and therefore more sustainable results can be achieved from the various FFW programmes being undertaken by CARE.

The project is funded by DFID and it runs from April to December 2002.

This project summary was updated in August 2002