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IFC Helps Tajik Farmers Use Satellite Technology to Improve Land Measuring Practices


In Dushanbe:
Adkham Ergashev
Phone: (+992 48) 701 14 40
E-mail: AErgashev@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Ilya Sverdlov
Phone: (+7 495) 411 7555
E-mail: isverdlov@ifc.org


Dushanbe, Tajikistan, July 08, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched a new initiative to help farmers in Southern Tajikistan improve land measuring practices.  By using a global positioning satellite technology system, farmers will be able to determine the exact size of their land plots, including length and width; the latitude, longitude, evenness of field, and precise location as well as land altitudes and/or elevation.

The agricultural sector, particularly cotton production, is the largest employer in Southern Tajikistan and critical to the local economy. Ongoing land reforms aimed at decentralizing agriculture have helped create some 30,000 privatized farms covering about 75 percent of arable land. However, limited agricultural knowledge and weak management skills restrict farmers in making make efficient use of their land. Also, as there is no system in place for measuring land, and a precise land size is required by banks in making loans, farmers are limited in obtaining financing.

The GPS technology is easy to implement. Farmers will now be able to stake out the corners of a field, transmit data, and receive the precise size and layout of the field.  Armed with this new tool, they will be able to improve the implementation of agro techniques. Having the precise size of land in hectares will allow farmers to use their funds more efficiently to purchase inputs, including seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. The new technology will also help improve water supply and field irrigation.  
This technology was introduced and tested in May 2008 by the IFC Southern Tajikistan Cotton Lending Project, which is funded by the Canadian International Agency for Development. The project works in collaboration with two banks, TojikSoridotBonk and First Microfinance Bank, to expand access to finance for cotton farmers in Southern Tajikistan. The results of this technology will be measured after the cotton harvest in the Fall.

“I am thankful to IFC and to First Microfinance Bank for helping measure my land more effectively with satellite equipment. I am now able to calculate the exact agricultural needs of my farm. This will also help me implement agro technical activities more successfully and contribute to better yield and more income,” said Ikromjon Nazarov, Chairman of Dekhan Farm Boboi Muso.
 
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About CIDA
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is a Canadian governmental agency whose mandate is to support sustainable progress in developing countries in order to reduce poverty and contribute to a more secure, equitable and prosperous world. One of its objectives is to work with countries in transition to stimulate growth through building self-sustainability among local population and mobilizing available resources. CIDA supports foreign aid projects in many countries around the world.