DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million financial assistance including a $5 million grant and technical assistance from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) to boost agriculture production and food security by improving water resource management of the Pyanj River Basin in Tajikistan.
“Tajikistan is vulnerable to food insecurity due to its limited productive irrigated land, underdeveloped agriculture, as well as poor rural–urban connectivity and limited community resilience to climate-induced shocks,” said Ryutaro Takaku, Senior Water Resource Specialist from the ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. ”The project aims to strengthen water resource management, modernize and climate-proof irrigation and drainage infrastructure, and boost farmers’ water use skills and farm management capacity.”
The Pyanj River Basin, the largest river basin in Tajikistan, is the backbone of the country’s agriculture sector. It covers the majority of the Khatlon province, which has the biggest population (2.7 million) and the most extensive agriculture production in Tajikistan. However, it is the country’s poorest river basin and includes the most food-insecure zone. The Pyanj River forms the boundary of Tajikistan and Afghanistan where serious flood disasters have frequently occurred.
The JFPR technical assistance will support the establishment and management of river basin organizations and the development of a river basin management plan. It will also help the government form a joint Pyanj River Basin commission with the government of Afghanistan. Another key component is the improvement of the Chubek irrigation system to reduce the sediment along the irrigation canals and replace the deteriorated pumping units with energy-efficient ones.
The project is in line with the ADB’s new Country Partnership Strategy 2016-2020, which focuses on targeted support to boost food security through climate-resilient technologies, value chain development, and improving water resource management in Tajikistan.
Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, and to date ADB has approved over $1.4 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.