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World Bank likely to fund Tajikistan cotton sector

Apr '07
Tajikistan is the world's fourth largest cotton exporter having strong overseas demand due to its inherent quality. Cotton accounts for 60 percent of its agricultural output; supports 75 percent of the rural population, and uses 45 percent of irrigated arable land.

World Bank has recently released its PROJECT INFORMATION DOCUMENT (PID) CONCEPT STAGE REPORT which highlights these and related facts bestowing upon this sector, its due importance.

Overall objective of the project is to improve livelihood of cotton farmers and create conditions for sustainable growth of cotton production in selected, low income areas of Tajikistan, through debt resolution, an improved policy environment, increased cotton output and profitability.

The report states that "Current combination of low productivity, low on-farm profitability and excessive debt are major impediments to agriculture sector development and rural poverty reduction. Overdue debt is the most visible aspect of this crisis, paralyzing the private sector ginneries and export marketing agents who provide most seasonal finance, and inhibiting producer access to inputs and working capital.”

It notes that private sector ginneries and export marketing agents' operations have been flagging due to encumbering debts. Cotton Supply Chain Development, Cotton Ginneries, Cotton Seed Supply, Producer Support, apart from Debt Related Agencies, Debt De-linkages and Support for Policy Analysis and Reform, will be the mainstay of this project's targets.

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