Pro Poor Agricultural Development in Northern Tajikistan (Implementation) MEDA, 2003-2008

    MEDA has been working in the fruit and vegetable subsector in the Sugd Oblast of northern Tajikistan since March 2004. This program is strengthening horticulture production, post-harvest handling, processing facilities and marketing capacity. In addition, in partnership with a local MFI partner, IMON (formerly NABWT - National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan), MEDA has provided loan capital and technical assistance for expansion to rural lending, with a focus on horticulture.

    Summary of results
    After two years of implementation, the program has achieved the following results.

    Agricultural Component
    - 100 farmers groups have been created for extension services based on common characteristics.
    - Amongst over 800 registered with the Program, nearly 500 farmers, 44% of these women, have now received training on such topics as soil fertility, chemical use, crop rotation, intercropping, and pruning.
    - Four demonstration plots on irrigation and greenhouse cultivation are operational.

    Rural Credit Component
    - Up to the end of March, 4,500 loans had been disbursed (cumulative, Program to date); there were nearly 1,500 active clients; and, the total outstanding portfolio value under management was C$550,000.
    - IMON has received ongoing support and TA for its rural lending portfolio. Four loan products have been designed and two have been launched.

    SME Component
    - Deposit agreement with partners for SME loan fund signed and initial fund transfer already complete.
    - Initial investigation into new market opportunities has resulted in the selection of target markets for expanded sales of processed goods.
    - On the strength of the contractual commitment, the Bank made its first two loans, each valued at approximately C$30,000, to eligible agribusiness SMEs prior to transfer by MEDA, in March, of the first C$200,000 of the loan funds to the Bank.
    - As a result of collaboration with MEDA, the Bank now appreciates that lending to the agribusiness sector can be profitable and undertaken at an acceptable level of risk.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Programme Design
    »Pro-Poor Agricultural Development in Northern Tajikistan, MEDA 2003-08