News06 May 2021
42 Tonnes of Local Potato Seeds from TİKA to Tajikistan
As part of the Tajikistan Potato Production Improvement Project, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) delivered 42 tonnes of Turkish potato seeds to the Republic of Tajikistan Ministry of Agriculture.
Within the context of the project, which has been carried out with the cooperation of TİKA and the Tajikistan Ministry of Agriculture in four phases, 42 tonnes of potato seeds have been brought from Turkey to Tajikistan. In the first phase of the project, 40.2 tonnes of the Turkish potato seeds have been delivered to farmers who live in various areas of Tajikistan.
In the second and most important phase of the project, six different species of Turkish potato seeds with the total weight of 1.8 tonnes have been planted as a trial in three different regions. The purpose of the trial planting is to determine the seed species that are most suitable for the country and to introduce the most productive species to Tajikistan.
In the third phase of the project, in order to make sure that the trial planting is carried out under optimum conditions, 3 potato planting machines were procured by TİKA and delivered to the officials from the Tajikistan Ministry of Agriculture. In the last phase of the project, in order to maintain healthy planting, an expert from Turkey gave trainings to the experts from the Tajikistan Ministry of Agriculture as well as the experts in the planting area, supporting the planting process so that it was carried out properly under right conditions.
The handover ceremony for potato seeds were attended by Sulaymon Ziyozoda Rizoi, the Republic of Tajikistan Minister of Agriculture; Emre Zeki Karagöl, Ambassador of Turkey in Dushanbe; Sadi Karimzoda Gafor, Republic of Tajikistan Deputy Minister of Agriculture; and İbrahim Erbir, TİKA’s Dushanbe Coordinator.
Having taken the floor at the ceremony, Rizoi expressed his satisfaction that TİKA has provided support for many agricultural projects in 2021 and stated that the potato seeds that they received were really valuable for them and this project was really important to them. Rizoi expressed his hope that this was only the beginning and said that they wanted to cooperate closely in the upcoming years especially with respect to seeds. Having expressed his wish to continue cooperating with TİKA in different areas as well, Rizoi said that they especially wanted to work closely in areas such as gardening, greenhousing and beekeeping.
TİKA Coordinator İbrahim Erbir underlined that this project, which is supported by TİKA, is a very important step for potato production in Tajikistan. Having reminded that TİKA's support was not a one-time-only thing, Erbir continued: “In the upcoming years, regarding the procurement of the potato seeds needed by Tajikistan, it's aimed to introduce licensed, cheap and high-quality Turkish potato seeds into the country. In cooperation with the relevant departments of the Ministry of Agriculture, the trial planting was carried out for 6 different species of Turkish potato seeds in three different regions of Tajikistan. At the end of this process, the most ideal and productive potato species will be determined and the required potato seeds will be procured in the upcoming years.”
With an annual consumption of 130 kilograms of potatoes per capita, Tajikistan is one of the leading countries in the world in this area. Potato is the second most consumed food product in the country, right after bread. In 2020, 900,000 tonnes of potatoes were harvested in the country, which is far from sufficient regarding the annual need of the country with a population of approximately 9.5 million people. Tajikistan is foreign-dependent in the ratio of 50-60% in potato seeds. This foreign dependency makes it harder for the country to access cheap and quality seeds. The purpose of the project is to resolve the chronical potato seed problem in Tajikistan.