Rural Economy Development in Tajikistan

10.01.2022

AFC supports Tajikistan’s Ministry of Finance in the management of a World Bank grant, to strengthen the local economy and increase the revenue potential of small businesses and communities.

Tajikistan has steadily progressed in growing its economy over the past decade. However, slowing economic growth and declining remittances have worsened the prospects for reducing poverty. Most of the labor force is engaged in the agriculture sector which contributes about a quarter to the country’s gross domestic product. To improve the sources of livelihood for the local populations, Tajikistan has received financing from the International Development Association of the World Bank Group for the implementation of the Tajikistan Rural Economy Development Project.

The project is jointly implemented by Tajikistan’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Committee of Tourism Development. It is comprised of four components focusing on: i) improving public infrastructure for the development of agribusiness and tourism; ii) supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in agribusiness and community-based tourism through matching grants; iii) strengthening skills, entrepreneurship, and business development services to enable potential beneficiaries; and iv) grant management.

The project supports the development of agribusiness and tourism activities in the regions of Khatlon and Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast and aims to strengthen the local economy and increase the revenue potential of small businesses and communities. This objective is realized by offering grants to local municipalities and communities and matching grants to small businesses and entrepreneurs that are involved in the agribusiness or tourism sectors. These will contribute to leveraging production, service delivery, income, and employment in the rural areas.

The grant schemes are overseen by a dedicated grant management team from AFC Agriculture and Finance Consultants (AFC), which the MOF engaged, to work with them in close collaboration. AFC’s task entails overseeing the work of local grant enablers that are working directly with the grant applicants in the said regions. Since August 2021, we are actively supporting the MOF in managing and implementing the operational activities and support it in finalizing, updating, and maintaining key documents of the grant program. Moreover, we provide capacity building and systematic training to the grant enablers, conduct outreach campaigns as well as launch calls for application and ensure the timely disbursement of funds.

AFC’s team of experts started working online by collecting project related information and reviewing the grant’s operation manual and catalog of standardized goods and services, of which the team will publish an enhanced version. Furthermore, we are preparing, among others, a draft package of templates for business plans, cash-flow forecasts, grant appraisal form (including financial analysis), forms related to underwriting (e.g. grant agreement), and develop a methodology for evaluating the applicants, an evaluation system, and a grant application form. Moreover, the eligibility criteria for the matching grant beneficiaries, participating in the bid, are reviewed by us.

In addition, AFC will develop capacity building activities and offer training modules for grant enablers. The 3-day skills training concentrates on supporting the grant applicants’ business proposals and will further entail a tailor-made section on tourism and agriculture. The 3-day policies and procedures training will focus on the identification and mobilization of grant applicants, support to beneficiaries in opening a bank account and using financial services, as well as support for monitoring and evaluation. AFC will be implementing the EUR 1.5m project until July 2024.

 

For further information visit the project website or contact &