July 28, 2020
On July 28,2020, the signing ceremony for Grant Agreement for the Phase II of the "Project for Improvement of Locust Management" took place at Serena Hotel in Dushanbe. The Agreement was signed by Mr. Hideki Tanabe, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Mr. Oleg Guchgeldiyev, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Tajikistan.
The Phase I of the "Project for Improvement of Locust Management" started in 2016 and completed in 2019 with the amount of approximately 5 million USD, under the framework of the political dialogue "Central Asia Plus Japan" which promotes the regional cooperation, and promoted by the official visit of Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe to all Central Asian countries in 2015. It was implemented in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with the addition of the neighbor country, Afghanistan, together with FAO as an implementing agency as it has great expertise and experiences on locust control throughout the world.
There are several kinds of locusts, known as Desert Locust, with some varieties such as Moroccan, Asian, Italian Locust and so on, exist throughout the region and some of them can even fly 100-200 kilo-meters per day. The locusts sometimes form a state of Group Life with millions or even billions of gathered individuals, where they become catastrophically harmful for any kind of plants, cereals, vegetables, fruits and pastures. The damage caused by them could be a big threat to the food security in the region.
Since there is no border for the locusts, they can jump and fly around among the countries even within a day. As the countries in Central Asia share the borders with each other, the joint effort to combat the locusts is very crucial. Therefore, the Phase II of the Project has a wider scope than Phase I, adding three more countries of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Project is funded by the Government of Japan through JICA with amount of approximately 7.3 million USD (Phase II), and to be implemented by FAO in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and State Unitary Enterprise "Locust Control Expedition" in Tajikistan, and with related governmental agencies in other countries. The duration of the Project is 5 years.
The Project promotes further regional cooperation by joint surveys in the border areas and other workshops, in addition to the provision of the equipment, such as trucks, motorcycles, sprayers, chemicals, IT equipment, and so on. The treatment will focus in a way less harmful to people, including the awareness raising among the residents in the rural area. Another focus will be paid on the regional warning system, which allows sharing the information for forecasting the locust movement and situation among the participating countries. The specialists will be trained to effectively utilize this system in order to cooperate with each other.
The Government of Japan and JICA are committed to the continuous contribution for the promotion of the regional cooperation in Central Asia. In addition, JICA intends to provide further assistance for the development of agricultural sector as one of the focus of its activities in Tajikistan.
JICA began its technical cooperation with Tajikistan in 1993 by inviting Tajik officials to gain knowledge and experience on governance and macroeconomics development. As of January 2018, a total number of participants to JICA's Knowledge Co-Creation Programs, formerly called the Training Programs, has exceeded 2200 people. JICA Office was established in 2006 in Tajikistan and since then various Grant Financial Assistance and Technical Cooperation projects have been implemented more dynamically, aiming at improving living standard of Tajik people for the sectors such as agriculture and rural development, water supply, health, transport, energy, capacity building as well as SME promotion. JICA's cumulative investment portfolio in Tajikistan in all sectors comprises 40 projects amounting to more than 400,4 mln USD (83.7 mln USD for Technical Cooperation and 316,7 mln USD for Grant Assistance), including 15 ongoing projects.