The Government of Tajikistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a US$30 million grant to modernize the Yovon irrigation and drainage system in the lower Vakhsh river basin in Tajikistan, say press release issued by the ADB Tajikistan Resident Mission (TJRM) on January 27.

The grant agreement signed in Dushanbe by Tajikistan Minister of Finance Fayziddin Qahhorzoda and ADB Country Director in Tajikistan Shanny Campbell.

The ADB-financed grant approved on December 1, 2021 will boost agriculture and water productivity of the selected irrigation and drainage system making it more climate and disaster resilient and increase opportunities for women in land and water management in Tajikistan.

The project will modernize irrigation canals and associated structures, install energy-efficient water pumps, and upgrade drainage structures in the project area.  By using satellites to measure water productivity and crop production, and a buried pipe system with metering for increased control of irrigation water use, the project has a strong innovation and technological component.

To strengthen management and operation of irrigation and drainage systems, the project will install a supervisory control and data acquisition system at main and branch canals, create a union of water user associations, and develop a cashless payment system for irrigation services.

The project will help mainstream gender policies in water users’ associations and in the Agency for Land Reclamation and Irrigation to increase women’s involvement in management and access to services.

The project includes US$1 million in technical assistance to improve operation and maintenance practices and financial management in the irrigation sector.

Since Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, the bank has become the country’s largest multilateral development partner with more than US$2.2 billion in assistance, including over US$1.7 billion in grants.

ADB’s 2021-2025 country partnership strategy with Tajikistan focuses on three strategic priorities: structural reforms to enhance resource allocation and mobilization, improving labor productivity through human capital development, and fostering better livelihoods by investing in the land-linked economy.

Established in 1966, the Asian Development Bank is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.