Tajikistan - Community-based Agricultural Support Project (CASP) - May 2022
Fruit and vegetable processing Firoza Fathulloeva (left – 24 years old, married with 3 children) and Munira Islamova, (18 years old) canning wild rhubarb and other naturally growing spring plants.
Firoza is one of 14 women in a women’s income-generating group supported by the Nimich Village Organization to process fruits and vegetables. Traditionally, rural women in Tajikistan have limited access to economic opportunities and decision-making. The CASP is ensuring that women have a voice in their village organizations. Based on priorities defined by its women members, the Village Organization established income-generating groups for them to engage in diversified activities, such as poultry production and food processing. Not only does this help the women increase their household income, it also promotes better nutrition and ensures food security for their families.
Large apple and pear orchards and vegetable gardens thrive in the cool, mountainous environment surrounding Nimich Village located in Tajikistan’s central Rasht Valley. But many fruits and vegetables are lost every year due to a lack of storage and processing facilities. With equipment and supplies provided by the project, Firoza Fathulloeva joined a group of 14 women to dry and preserve fruits and vegetables, canning more than 1,400 jars of produce during their first year (700 1-liter jars and 700 2-liter jars of fruit, compote, jams and vegetables). As a result, produce is no longer wasted, and Firoza and the other women now have seasonal employment and are earning money.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown periods, people had plenty of canned fruits and vegetables to eat.” (VO Head)
The Community-based Agricultural Support Project (CASP) is building on the significant achievements of the earlier Livestock and Pasture Development Project to stimulate inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction in rural Tajikistan. Since 2018, the CASP has provided benefits to more than 51,000 households in 177 rural villages in Khatlon Oblast, Soghd and Republican Subordination Regions. Its activities are helping communities and smallholder (dehkan) farmers access productive infrastructure and services, leading to sustainable agricultural production, equitable income-generating opportunities and improved living standards.
The CASP works with Village Organizations (VOs) to develop community-driven action plans that define their own improvement initiatives. Village-level participation in decision making is critical to the success of these plans and helps establish a sense of community ownership and cohesion.
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