Located in Central Asia, Tajikistan is a post-conflict, post-Soviet country with significant food security needs: 10.4 percent of the population in the Feed the Future target region lives on less than $1.25 a day, and many women and children are undernourished.
Only about seven percent of Tajikistan’s land surface is arable due to its mountainous topography. Many farmers depend on irrigation, delivered through decades-old systems, in this landlocked, arid country. An estimated one million Tajik citizens migrate abroad to work and their remittances are among the highest in the world, equivalent to approximately half of the country’s gross domestic product.
Undernutrition in Tajikistan is a serious issue as nearly 30 percent of young children are stunted. Few infants are exclusively breastfed for the recommended length of time and only a small percentage of children under 2 years old receive acceptable nourishment. Diets are poorly balanced as families lack awareness of good nutrition and don't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. Limited access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities compounds the effects of poor nutrition.
Yet there is tremendous opportunity for improving agriculture and nutrition through the Tajik government’s leadership and partnership with development partners, the private sector, and others. Seventy-three percent of Tajikistan’s population lives in rural areas and the majority is engaged in agriculture. Across the country, agriculture accounts for 75 percent of employment and over a quarter of gross domestic product.