Tajikistan to Increase Wheat Imports by 21%
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According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Tajikistan harvested 1 million 577 thousand tons of grain in 2021, including 864 thousand tons of Wheat. This year, the country planned to receive 1 million 594 thousand grains, of which 917 thousand tons will be Wheat. At the same time, the Republic intends to increase Wheat production by 2024 to 980 thousand tons. According to the Forecast of the leading macroeconomic indicators of the Government, Tajikistan plans to increase Wheat imports by 21.4% in the next three years and its production – by 12%.
The Wheat yield in Tajikistan in irrigated lands is approximately 30-40 centners per hectare, and in dry land – 10-12 centners. Producers in Tajikistan are limited in obtaining subsidies and benefits. According to experts, Tajikistan, even in conditions of limited agricultural land resources (slightly less than 0.6 hectares per capita), has the potential to provide 80% of its needs with Wheat. However, in reality, this figure is 40-45%.
Farmers note that the average Wheat yield in Tajikistan is much lower than official statistics suggest. Perhaps the indicator of the annual harvest, too. In 1995 and 1997, about 75 thousand hectares of arable land of former collective and state farms were distributed by order of the Head of State to citizens of the republic for organizing personal subsidiary farms and for growing Wheat. However, local authorities committed many violations, allowing residents to build houses, plant gardens, and orchards. Part of the land was received by different people working on the plots.
This situation continues to this day, and during this time, it was possible to analyze how much Wheat is grown in these fields. Agronomist-farmer Bakhtiyor Salomov from Tursunzade calculated that from 75 thousand hectares of land, it was possible to obtain at least 225 thousand tons of Wheat with a yield of 30 centners per 1 hectare. And this would cover 10% of the needs of the entire population of the republic.
According to the Customs Service of the Republic, in the first quarter of 2022, Tajikistan had already purchased more than 238 thousand tons of grain for $70.6 million. For the first seven months of this year, more than 463.1 thousand tons of Wheat were imported into Tajikistan, 10.8% less than in 2021, the Customs Service of Tajikistan reported. The amount of Wheat imports cost totaled over $155.2 million. Tajikistan’s demand for Wheat is in the range of 1.8-2 million tons per year. Tajikistan annually buys nearly 1 million tons of Wheat from Kazakhstan, which accounts for up to 94 percent of Dushanbe’s grain imports.
Tajikistan’s Wheat Seed Project
Wheat is Tajikistan’s main cereal food crop. The FAO project, funded by the Government of Austria, aims to improve access to high-quality seeds by growing them directly in Tajikistan. It provides technical support to strengthen the capacity of seed farms and small farmers to produce high-quality Wheat seeds. The project also provides for capacity building for the production of seeds of legumes, oilseeds, and forage crops.
As a result of the program, new, high-yielding varieties resistant to diseases, especially Wheat rust, were obtained. Seeds are adapted to the climate of Tajikistan. The grain obtained from these crops is high quality and suitable for baking traditional tandyr cakes.
Over 400 tons of high-quality Wheat seeds and almost 15 tons of other grain crops were distributed under the project from 2012-2018. Thanks to the demonstration of the newest excellent Wheat varieties, the project helped to establish strong partnerships between producers and consumers of seeds.
New varieties of Wheat were cultivated (Murodi, Durakhshon, Camol), and seven more varieties are being tested at numerous sites under the supervision of local authorities. National varieties were also preserved (Sarvar, Yusufi, Vahdat, Durakhshon).
Other sources: ASIAPLUSTJ
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