By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Tajikistan reduced the volume of flour imports, while the volume of wheat imports, on the contrary, increased in 2018, Tajik media reports.
According to the ministry of the country's economic bloc, in 2018, imports of flour decreased by 7,400 tons compared to 2017, while the import of wheat increased by about 4,400 tons.
Tajikistan received 47,000 tons of flour worth $ 10.3 million in 2018, which is 7,400 tons less than in 2017.
During this period, there was an increase in the volume of wheat imports compared with the figures for 2017 - by 4,400 tons.
As many as 1,02 million tons of wheat worth $ 272.6 million were imported to the republic in January-December 2018. Kazakhstan remains the main supplier of flour and wheat to the Tajik market.
According to the source, to date, more than 90 percent of Tajikistan’s domestic flour needs are met from domestic production. The country has significantly increased the volume of processing of grain, especially wheat, which led to a decrease in the import of flour.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture of Tajikistan, over 1.2 million tons of cereals, including over 765,200 tons of wheat, were produced in Tajikistan by the beginning of December 2018.
Wheat is Tajikistan's main cereal food crop.
In the framework of the project of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the Tajik Ministry of Agriculture, the main goals of the project are sustainable food security and nutrition; natural resource management and climate resilience; agricultural productivity and competitiveness.
The project, funded by the Government of Austria, aims to improve access to high-quality seeds by growing them directly in Tajikistan.
It provides technical support to strengthen the capacity of seed farms and small farmers to produce high quality wheat seeds. The project also provides for capacity building for the production of seeds of legumes, oilseeds and forage crops.
As a result of the program, new, high-yielding varieties resistant to diseases, especially to wheat rust, were obtained. Seeds are adapted to the climate of Tajikistan. The grain obtained from these crops is of high quality and is suitable for baking traditional tandyr cakes.
Over 400 tons of high-quality wheat seeds and almost 15 tons of other grain crops were distributed under the project in 2012-2018. Thanks to the demonstration of the newest excellent wheat varieties, the project helped to establish strong partnerships between producers and consumers of seeds.
New varieties of wheat were cultivated (Murodi, Durakhshon, Camol), seven more varieties are being tested at numerous sites under the supervision of local authorities. National varieties were also preserved (Sarvar, Yusufi, Vahdat, Durakhshon).
FAO is a UN specialized agency leading international efforts to fight hunger.
The goal of the organization is to ensure food security for all and to guarantee regular access of the population to high-quality food. FAO, with more than 194 member countries, operates in more than 130 countries around the world.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz