Tajikistan’s Ministry of Agriculture recently released a crop assessment showing that farmers in Khatlon Province harvested a record 553.8 thousand metric tons (MT) of wheat grain during the 2012 season. Feed the Future works in 12 districts in the southwest Khatlon Province to increase production on smallholder farms and family plots, increasing food for both household consumption and sale at market while improving nutrition and health outcomes for families.
This record-breaking wheat harvest is due in large part to a new seed variety, Krasnadar 99, introduced by USAID as part of its agricultural programming in Tajikistan. Farmers who planted the improved seed variety harvested an average 4.4 to 4.5 MT of wheat per hectare compared to the regional average 2.5 MT of wheat per hectare.
In 2008, USAID introduced 600 MT of Krasnadar 99 to farmers in Khatlon and distributed the seed to private farms to replace low-quality wheat seed that produced poor yields. The new variety has strong disease resistance and produces high-quality flour for baking bread. It is now one of the most commonly cultivated varieties among local farmers in Khatlon.
To complement the dissemination of this improved seed variety, Feed the Future has established water users associations in Khatlon that enable farmers to manage irrigation water for optimal agricultural production.
Feed the Future is helping modernize Tajikistan’s agriculture sector through a variety of science and technology-based interventions. Read about other successful projects that have made greenhouse technology and improved farm machinery available to smallholder farmers.