Afghansitan-Kyrgyz-Tajikistan AGRO Food Industry Development

The Afghanistan-Kyrgyz Republic-Tajikistan Agro Food Industry Development project proposes three feasible agro-food industry products (among pre-selected products for inclusive value chain development), with justifications, respective action plans, and budgets. It aims to present the features of respective value chains from primary agricultural production to the final consumer, and to ensure that the development of the value chains is feasible in terms of realities, opportunities, and dynamics of each AKT market compared to that of international markets. As a result of the keen interest expressed by regional governments and the international donor community, the UN Development Programme has initiated this project to support inclusive growth in the three Central Asian countries of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. A central goal of this program is to leverage regional cooperation in Central Asia and reinforce each country’s commitment to implement recommendations adopted during successive international conferences on Afghanistan, from Bonn 2001 to Brussels 2016. In terms of this initiative’s projected economic impact, the three agro food products (fruits, nuts, and vegetables) will be identified for value chain development, increasing profitability, and expanding market access.

Current Status

In January 2015, a roundtable meeting was held in Istanbul on the Tripartite Agro-Food Industry Consortium, including senior participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs, UNDP, and other international organizations from AKT countries and Turkey. A consensus was achieved among the stakeholders for moving forward on the project. Furthermore, key inputs were provided by the stakeholders for the design of the project’s feasibility study, which was undertaken by Geopolicity, Inc. and financed by UNDP and the Government of Turkey. Some of the chief take-ways from the feasibility study were: i) While the principal market for Afghan almonds remains domestic, this is changing and targeted investment can support a far stronger export orientation; ii) The field assessment across the value chain highlights considerable market development constraints, many of which can be resolved with the right balance of public and private investment; and iii) The worsening macro-economic outlook, currency devaluation, and declining aid flows—yet with new economic corridors planned (the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Chabahar Garland Highway bridging through Zerang and Herat)—mean that only non-perishable products have the potential to reach international markets beyond India and Pakistan. The project will serve to reinforce the Afghan Government’s Agricultural Development National Priority Program.

Recommended Actions by RECCA-VII and Beyond:

  • The AKT Consortium should review the feasibility study findings and position support for next phase value-chain development, allowing for a more coordinated approach to regional agricultural product development in Central Asia.
Budget & Funding Status USD $20 million
Institutional Partners Afghanistan, The Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, United Nations Development Programme, and Turkey