FAO provides technical training in agriculture and agribusiness development to applicants to the matching grants pilot in Tajikistan

FAO provides technical training in agriculture and agribusiness development to applicants to the matching grants pilot in Tajikistan
A second training session of ten days on agricultural production and agribusiness development was held for fifty selected applicants to the pilot “Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth through Matching Grants”, which targets migrants and their families and is being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the Hisor and Jaloliddini Balkhi districts of Tajikistan.
According to the FAO Country Office in Tajikistan, the second training session addressed the technical needs of the applicants that emerged during the first training session conducted by FAO earlier in April this year.  The training dealt with topics such as “business essentials”, innovative agricultural approaches to greenhouse management, crop production, processing of agricultural produce, proper storage methods and value chain development.
The main goal of the second phase of the training is to address gaps in technical knowledge on the cultivation and processing of crops, and on the marketing of products. 
The training reportedly helped participants in developing business plans for small- and medium-scale enterprises in fruit, vegetable and livestock production, and agribusiness.  Those who will eventually be selected for the pilot will receive financial support in the form of “matching grants” and technical support from FAO to implement their business plans.
“The agribusiness sector is a major generator of off-farm employment and income worldwide. It covers the entire value chain, including the supply of agricultural inputs, the production and processing of agricultural produce, and their distribution to final consumers.  Developing the sector is crucial for improving food security and nutrition”, said Oleg Guchgeldiyev, FAO Representative in Tajikistan. “Especially in rural areas, agribusinesses are often considered to be the main source of off-farm employment and to have a positive impact on women’s empowerment, the income of rural households and poverty reduction in general.”
“I am very lucky to attend these training sessions.  Thanks to this, I could advance my skills and knowledge on business planning, setting targets and achieving effective results. Additionally, we could establish friendly relationships, which will certainly promote effective networking”, said a participant of the training.
After the training, participants submitted their final business plans to the pilot’s Oversight Committee, which will evaluate them and eventually assign the matching grants to the selected beneficiaries.
The pilot “Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth through Matching Grants” is part of the FAO project “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia”, which is funded by the Russian Federation.  It is one of the six pilots the project is carrying out in Tajikistan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan with the aim to operationalize the linkages between social protection, nutrition and agriculture, and to provide an evidence base on the impact of an integrated approach on development outcomes.

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