Local Market Development

Tajikistan is considered as the poorest country in Central Asia. The majority of the population is depending on agriculture. In order to improve their agricultural productivity and increase incomes of farmers, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation funds - together with the Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO) – and implements the “Local Market Development” Project. It first started in Kyrgyzstan (2005) and later in Tajikistan (2006), and is currently in its third phase (2013 – 2015).

RATIONALE

The project works in three sub-sectors: fruits, vegetable and dairy along the value chains from farmers to processing industries, traders and markets. It benefits about 7000 farming households and involves about 30 different value chain support organizations, including local NGOs for farmer group mobilization, extension services, marketing and business development service providers, local authorities and other donor-funded projects related to an efficient operation of these commodity chains. The principal approach is to link small-scale vegetable producers to processing companies in order to generate additional income on the producers’ side. Aiming at systemic changes, the LMD works towards changes amongst and within the operators, supporters and influencers of the respective value chain: Besides the ongoing value chain management facilitation, the project concentrates on action research and innovation development with focus on the testing of alternative farmer training and input financing models and on developing and testing product and processing options that can favor agricultural producers, processors and traders and particularly resource poor farmers in remoter areas. Through active knowledge sharing, networking and plat-forming, the project supports also interest organizations of the main value chain operators in addressing politically sensitive issues, for example the removal of non-tariff trade barriers.

PROJECT OUTCOMES

1. 3,000 farmers apply ecological sounds production methods;
2. 3,000 contracted farmers have increased their product sales to average 5,000 t per farmer;
3. Inputs are accessible to 3,000 farmers (seeds, chemicals machinery services, bio input supplies);
4. Export trading companies sell to markets in Russia and Kazakhstan;
5. Foreign investments increased in project areas;
6. Eight Processors increased their sales by 20% through local value chains;
7. A locally established challenge fund attracts capital to the value chain actors;
8. Value chain actors are engaged in policy dialogue for a more conducive policy environment.

PROJECT APPROACHES

The LMD Project aims at systemic changes through a Making Markets Work Better for the Poor (M4P) approach for improved livelihoods and incomes. On farmer level, smallholders take an active approach to improve their livelihoods, productivity and sustainability of production (IPM), and start to apply market requirements for their produce, such as quality, timing and type of produce. Export market facilitation is done by supporting selected service providers to develop market information and export promotion plans. LMD applies the Measuring Results Standard of the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) for project monitoring.

Achievements 2014

• 2003 farmers in Tajikistan (34% women) were supported by the project. They sold 7,661 tons of agricultural produce. 

• Farmers participated in 94 savings groups, saving fund amounts are 187,050 somoni (93 somoni averagde per farmer).

• Partner organizations received payments for services provided in the amount of 49,700, which is 26% out of the total budget.

• A Regional Trade Fair 'Sughd - 2014' was held in Khujand which was visited by more than 1,200 people.

• 14 'Open Day' events were conducted in Sughd oblast.  

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The particular emphasis of the Project is on the following issues:
• Supporting existing farmer groups in improving the production and quality of raw materials for processing and to the fresh markets, through training and consultancy;
• Developing trade links, creating and developing trustful relations between actors of   the value chain (both forward and backward linkages);
• Developing mechanisms of sales of services of Value Chain Supporters to Value Chain Operators;
• Introduction of innovations in production and processing systems;
• Supporting processing and trading companies in market development (packaging,     labeling, promotion, etc.) by means of participatory planning and implementing common working plans
• Exchange of experiences among actors of the value chains and supporting       organizations at the Platform of Agricultural Chain Development and through   experiences exchange tours;
• Support Associations in lobbying of interests of members.

outlook

For its third phase (2013-2015) the project concentrates on the implementation of the following:

1. Successful introduction and implementation of the M4P approach;
2. Leveraging of value chain finance into target value chains;
3. Creating a conducive policy environment;
4. Alignment of monitoring and evaluation systems with DCED standards;
5. Full analysis and monitoring of gender and social equity issues.

Publications