DUSHANBE, April 2, 2011, Asia-Plus -- On Friday April 1, Tajik Minister of Agriculture Qosim Qosimov met with Ms. Zaynab Kenjayeva, country program manager of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for Tajikistan, and Ms. Anora Jumaboyeva, adviser to the IFAD country program for Tajikistan, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).

Narzullo Dadaboyev, a spokesman for a MoA, says the sides discussed cooperation between Tajikistan and IFAD in enhancing Tajikistan’s agrarian sector.  The meeting focused on an agreement on the financing of the Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project.

“A total cost of the project that will be implemented jointly with local communities through pastures’ associations that will be set up in pilot districts of Khatlon province is some 15 million U.S. dollars,” Dadaboyev said, noting that the project includes technical and legal assistance as well as training trips on the pasture use issues to Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan.   

In the meantime, according to press release issued by IFAD on January 27, 2009, a US$12.3 million grant from IFAD to Tajikistan for the Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project will help reduce poverty, increase incomes and improve the lives of farmers in 250 villages in five districts.  The grant agreement was signed in Rome on January 27, 2009 by Tajik Finance Minister Safarali Najmiddinov and IFAD Assistant President Jessie Rose Mabutas.

The project is dedicated to help address low productivity, limited availability of inputs and credit, and lack of irrigation facilities by organizing farmers and providing them with improved technologies and by financing productive infrastructure schemes based on community priorities.  Some 18,750 households are expected to benefit from the project, which will ensure that at least half of the beneficiaries are women.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference.  IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries.  Seventy-five per cent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries, yet only 4% of official development assistance goes to agriculture.