Note: The first phase of this project ended Dec, 2015. A new and similar project began in the second half of 2016.
Title: Potato production support and research to improve food security in Khatlon, Tajikistan – Phase II
Contact: Rusudan Mdivani, Regional Leader for Central Asia and the Caucasus, firstname.lastname@example.org
Timeframe: 10/01/2016 – 09/30/2019
Region: Khatlon region, Tajikistan
- University of Central Asia
- The Institute of Botany, Plant Physiology and Genetics of the Tajik Academy of Sciences
Under the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative, the International Potato Center and partners are implementing a new project, Potato Production Support and Research to Improve Food Security in Khatlon, Tajikistan – Phase II. The project aims to address dietary deficiencies and increase potato productivity, stability and competitiveness. The project will improve household incomes of resource-poor farmers in water stress-prone areas of West Khatlon. Potato and sweet potato value chains were identified as potential high-value opportunities to contribute to a reduction in poverty and malnutrition in the country. Because orange-fleshed sweet potato and newly bred varieties of potato are rich in provitamin A carotenoids, and iron and zinc, respectively, they can help diversify diets and address problem of child malnutrition, which is prevalent in Tajikistan.
Situation and Solution
In Tajikistan 10.4 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day, and many women and children are undernourished. Common dietary deficiencies in important nutrients, including vitamin A, iron, zinc, iodine, and animal protein, has led to nearly 30% stunting and 7% wasting among children younger than 24 months. The project Potato Production Support and Research to Improve Food Security in Khatlon, Tajikistan – Phase II seeks to increase the production and consumption of improved vegetable varieties high in vitamin A, iron, and/or zinc in the Feed the Future Zone of Influence by introducing new crops, new varieties and technologies, and by building capacity for their use. These technologies include: the production of early bulking potato, breaking dormancy of newly harvested potato for planting in the second growing season, and using insect nets to protect potato plants from aphids, white fly and other insects.
- Introduce beta-carotene rich sweet potato varieties and develop appropriate production technologies.
- Increase the efficiency of potato production through the introduction and dissemination of a) drought-tolerant and day-neutral varieties of potato suitable to local conditions, b) new, cost-effective farming technologies, and c) improved on-farm management practices for smallholders.
- Build capacity of researchers, advisors, farmers and local research entities, including The Institute of Botany, Plant Physiology and Genetics of the Tajik Academy of Sciences.
- At least two new sweet potato varieties with high levels of beta-carotene and two new promising varieties of potato recommended for registration in Tajikistan; the best agronomic practice suitable for local conditions introduced and tested in farms.
- At least one local farmer in each district will have the capacity to produce sweet potato vines and transfer this technology to other local farmers.
- 500 local agricultural specialists and farmers trained on potato production innovative technologies. Potato productivity increased up to 35% in second growing season in experimental trials.
- At least three local farmers to apply new technologies to use freshly harvested potatoes for the second cropping season as a business model.