Family Farming Program (FFP)

Tajikistan is the poorest country in Central Asia, with 49 percent of its rural population living below the poverty line. Approximately 73 percent of the country’s 8.2 million citizens live in rural areas, where paid jobs are scarce and the average amount of arable land held per person is 0.11 hectares. While 46.5 percent of the overall population is employed in agriculture, productivity in the sector is low and represents only 21 percent of national GDP.

Despite rising food prices, the food security situation in Tajikistan has generally improved in recent years, largely due to high levels of remittances from Tajiks working abroad in Russia. However, food security remains a significant concern; 22 percent of households were severely or moderately food insecure as of November 2012. The 2012 Tajikistan Demographic and Health Survey indicates 26 percent of children below the age of 5 were stunted, 10 percent were wasted, and 12 percent were underweight.

The USAID Tajikistan Family Farming Program (FFP), under the Feed the Future initiative, aims to reduce poverty through improved nutrition and inclusive agricultural growth in 12 target districts in Khatlon province. FFP’s efforts have largely focused on providing support to Water Users Associations (WUA) to improve their ability to manage irrigation water resources. FFP’s work in organizing and strengthening WUAs, as well as work in rehabilitating irrigation infrastructure, directly impacts the availability of irrigation water, thereby boosting agricultural production. Increased production enhances the availability of food as well as producers’ income, which will in turn improves food security and promotes inclusive agricultural growth in the targeted districts. FFP’s work in improving household economics, disseminating agricultural production guides, and supporting irrigation water management policy reform also support the project’s primary objective of improving agricultural production and access to food.

Sample Activities

  • Implement irrigation system rehabilitation activities.
  • Strengthen WUA federations.
  • Conduct WUA legal and regulatory analysis and recommend updates.
  • Train WUAs on advanced policy guides developed by FFP.

Select Results

  • Fifty-six new WUAs have been established and four additional ones were strengthened in Khatlon province.
  • Sixty WUAs have been trained in leadership skills development, grants management, financial management, irrigation system maintenance, and conflict resolution.
  • WUA membership fee collection rate increased by 60 percent, providing funding for irrigation water management.
  • FFP repaired or installed 968 water control gates, dredged 84,920 meters of drainage systems, and cleaned 50,220 meters of irrigation canals.
  • Today, 122,992 hectares are under improved water management practices and 67,642 are under improved/rehabilitated irrigation.
  • Fourteen crop and animal production guides and three household nutrition and budgeting guides were developed and shared with other development projects for broad distribution.
  • In support of irrigation sector reform, FFP produced a stakeholder-involved legal analysis of the WUA law and drafted a revised version of the law to include suggested changes.

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development
Contract: 2010–2015