The ECTAP Project is funded by the European Union. The overall objective of “the Enhanced Competitiveness of the Tajik Agribusiness Project” (ECTAP) is to contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth through the enhancement of Tajik agro-food value-chains, agro-food enterprises and the quality and marketing of Tajik agricultural products.
Within the framework of the fruit value chain development ECTAP has organized a series of workshops on intensive modern orchards covering plant protection, drip irrigation and thinning of apples, which could generate both sustainable growth and improvement of apple trees, and also additional income for farmers.
These workshops have been conducted by a leading expert on Intensive Orchards from the Pouille’ Institute of France Marc Lancien and have gathered the key stakeholders of the sector: the Ministry of Agriculture, international potential investors, research and training institutes, facilitators in the modernization process of Tajik agriculture such as development institutions and NGOs, agriculture extension services and farmers. Trainings and field visits in Districts of Republican Subordination covered in particular Gissar, Fayzabad, Iskich, and in Sughd region Spitamen, Bobojon Ghafurov, J. Rasulov districts.
The trainings have begun from February 2018 covering key steps of modern apple production and best practices in France, phytosanitary issues, apple tree diseases, plant pathology, apple pests, The second round of trainings took place in May 2018 covering apple protection and disease prevention and management topics. Evaluations of trainings showed that participants requested to cover in July Trainings summer pruning, right picking date, and benefits of ripening, storage basics which can help them improve their yields and income.
Therefore the third round of trainings will cover green pruning, fertilizing, harvest, storage and post-harvest of modern orchard apples in July 2018.
Every session covers theoretical trainings as well as practical work in the field where Marc Lancien and EU ECTAP project agronomists work with farmers and improve their knowledge and skills.
Agriculture extension service providers managed to practice their knowledge in their own fields and the fields of farmers and their evaluation of the trainings provided were highly appreciated. The trainings were timely organized for farmers who established modern orchards. Issues such as orchard disease management, fertirrigation, pruning, apple nutrition, thinning, picking, trellising were timely covered by the trainer, and in this season farmers could make use of obtained knowledge for their own benefit.