FAO WORKSHOP TO SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE POTATO PRODUCTION IN TAJIKISTAN
In Dushanbe, with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tajikistan, cooperatives, academia, international and other interested organizations (more than 20 participants) a workshop was held on 11 February 2022 (Serena Hotel) at the occasion of the launch of a FAO project to support capacity building of specialists and potato farmers in 2022 aiming at increased sustainable productivity of the potato crop.
The workshop was organized by
, the FAO Office in Tajikistan, in association with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tajikistan. Welcoming remarks at the workshop were made by Nabiev Farrukhiddin Amurdinovich, Head of the Plant Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Ibrohim Ahmadov, FAO office in Tajikistan, both chairing the workshop. Also, Bobozoda Bakokhoja, Director from the Institute of Botany, Plant Physiology and Genetics, Tajikistan National Academy of Sciences, addressed welcoming remarks to the audience. The institute plays an important role a service provider in the project mentioned above.
Further representatives of the institutions mentioned, of the Variety Testing Commission of Tajikistan and of a potato production cooperative in Nurobod were participating.
FAO’s Lead Technical Officer (LTO), Viliami Fakawa, as well as the Head of the FAO office in Tajikistan, Oleg Guchgeldiyev, spoke also to the audience via online participation.
Scientists from the Institute of Botany, Plant Physiology and Genetics, Prof. K.A. Aliev, Dr. K. Partoev, international project expert Dr. Lukas Bertschinger and FAO Tajikistan specialist Marufqul Mahkamov addressed the workshop with presentation on potato in Tadjikistan and recommendations for a successful implementation of the project.
In the practical part of the workshop, the participants were divided into two groups for discussion the project and recommendations made. They agreed on the districts where the project would be implemented, the design of so-called demonstration plots in these districts enabling farmers to get experience with innovative production techniques, and scientific and practical issues to be included in the training workshops for farmers at the demonstration plots in the Rasht Valley.
As a result of discussions and debates of the workshop participants, the Nurobod, Tajikabad and Lyakhsh districts located in the Rasht valley at 1300; 1500 and 2000 m above sea level were identified for project implementation. On these demonstration plots, three potato varieties will be planted. The varieties ‘Tajikistan’, ‘Red-Scarled’ and ‘Picasso’ are proposed. But this needs to be confirmed yet in discussion among the project team and the leading farmers at the demonstration sites. It was decided that 25-30 rural potato farmers in each district will be involved in the process of field training and knowledge exchange on potato management techniques for achieving higher potato yields in a sustainable way. Each site will be coordinated by trained farmers (trainers) at this site. On the other side, these trainers will be trained for their activity by project representatives, before activities start at the three demonstration sites.
The workshop participants mentioned that climate change is currently a growing threat for achieving the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Therefore, it is necessary to take climate change into account, as well as learning more about agroecology when planning the activities for the training seminars at the demonstration sites. Agroecology is a holistic concept that is strongly supported by FAO for improving the productive capacity of small farmers and of agriculture in general in a sustainable way and for improving rural livelihoods.
During the discussions, all participants of the workshop had an opportunity to share their knowledge, vision and skills for contributing to a successful implementation of the project presented.
Kurbonali PARTOEV, Head of Plant Genetics and Breeding Laboratory, Institute of Botany, Plant Physiology and Genetics, Tajikistan National Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Honorary Press of the Republic of Tajikistan