Tajikistan may become a fruit and vegetable Spain
Mr. Andriy Yarmak, Economist of the FAO Investment Center, has highlighted Tajikistan’s potential in fruit and vegetable production and marketing on his Facebook page.
According to Mr Yarmak, Tajikistan has the following advantages as a fruit and vegetable growing country:
- growers with unheated hothouses in the southern regions of Tajikistan are able to harvest almost every vegetable crop in November-May;
- labor costs take just tenth-fifteenth of those in Spain;
- Tajikistani growers have access to water resources and manage to find them for high-priced products;
- strawberries can be harvested all year round;
- preliminary estimates show that Tajikistan is able to grow evergreen varieties of blueberries, which harvesting can be planned either for February, March and April, the months, which are able to offer the most attractive prices, or for any other month, even December;
- raspberries and blackberries can be grown in summer greenhouses almost all year round;
- first apricots are ripened in early April without any cover and with the use of traditional technologies, which can be improved; the same is relevant for early cherries and grapes.
“Unfortunately, Tajikistan will unlikely be able to capitalize on the momentum. Access to the information is limited. The country has no knowledge, technology elements, nurseries and infrastructure. At the same time, the economic situation is very difficult, and regulatory environment does not help solve the problem. Thus, any investor will face too high risks”, Mr. Yarmak says.
He also stresses that Tajikistan is still unable to grow high-quality raw produce, not to speak of producing end products.
“However, let’s suppose everything to have changed. Uzbekistan has been changing its fruit and vegetable sector, but the situation is still far from being normal there, as the key changes must be in heads. That is exactly why Tajikistan is still growing onions and tries to compete in the market, which is familiar for them. Meanwhile, market conditions have been becoming more and more difficult, as costs are growing, while prices are going down”, Mr. Yarmak summarizes.