6th Agribusiness Investment Forum October 30-31,2018

EU ECTAP organized 6th International Agribusiness Investment Forum on Fruits and Vegetables with the involvement of the Ministry of Agriculture, Sughd Executive office and local fruit and vegetable producers and processors

Gulistan, 30-31 October 2018

The Sixth International Agribusiness Investment Forum in Tajikistan and Third ECTAP Agribusiness Investment Forum, “Promoting the modernization of the fruits and vegetables value-chains in Tajikistan”, took place at the premises of the National Bank of Tajikistan, in Kairakum, on October 30th-31st 2018

It was organized by the EU ECTAP project in partnership with the Executive office of Sughd Oblast of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The Forum has been hailed by all participants as a great success thanks to:

-          Very strong participation of different types of stakeholders during the two days of the Forum;

-          Very clear objectives embedded in the design of the programme;

-          Concrete deliverables.

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The Forum was a great success in terms of attendance: 252 persons officially signed off the list of participants. This impressive number particularly stresses the relevance of the Forum as many participants had to take extra effort as the Forum did not take place in Dushanbe but in the second biggest town in Tajikistan.

There was strong participation of Government officials, including the Deputy Governor of Sughd region, Mr Yakubi, and other local officials from Sughd, RRP, GBAO and Khatlon. The following Ministries and agencies were represented:

-          Ministry of Agriculture;

-          Ministry of Economic Development;

-          Ministry of Industry;

-          Food Security Committee;

-          TajikStandard.

The level of cooperation between ECTAP and the Sughd Executive Office has been assessed by both parties as excellent, both at strategic level (common vision), organizational level (organization of the programme including field visits), and implementation level (logistics, interaction with participants).

Attendance from international public bodies and development organizations was solid and included inter alia the Ambassador of France to Tajikistan, Mrs Yasmine Gouedard. She could represent both her country and to a certain extent the EU as a key EU member State with a very positive message. The Resident representative of the World Bank and Head of the Donor Coordination Council (DCC), Mr Jan-Peter Olters, also delivered the strategic vision of both the WB and of the DCC. There were in addition representatives of other development agencies including inter alia of EBRD, FAO, GIZ, USAID, JICA, WFP, ITC, Asian Development Bank and Asian Development Institute. Various NGOs also took an active part in the Forum including ACTED, Helvetas, CESVI, Caritas and Fairtrade from Uzbekistan. Finally, there was a substantial participation of the Russian embassy (Russian trade representative and Russian Consul in Sughd), of the Russian region of Kirov and of a large Chinese delegation.

On the Tajik side, all regions of the country were well represented, and all the key public and private stakeholders in the development of modern fruit and vegetables including the State representatives already mentioned, academics (Tajik Agrarian Academy of science, Tajik Agrarian University), extension services and business consultants, input suppliers, suppliers of farm equipment, nurseries, farmers, storage companies, agri-processors, certification bodies and laboratories, modern retailers, exporters, professional associations, women groups, banks and microfinance organizations.


Of particular interest was the large and diversified participation of foreign companies. They included:

-          Emanuele Carollo, from Italian supplier of food processing equipment Pietribiasi Michelangelo srl; 

-          Yehuda Hayun, from Israeli investor and provider of technical assistance in industrial tomato, Jerusalem Eskimo;

-          Zvi Luria, from Israeli provider of technical assistance and first Israeli kibbutz IIRRI-al-tal;

-          Ahmad Rahmanov and Kamariddin Davlet, the Uzbek representatives of French Dalival, the leading supplier of fruit genetics;

-          Yunus Zamahay, from Turkish MAY Tarim Fidancilik (Arboriculture) LLC, another leading supplier of fruit genetics;

-          Nazim Arundar, the Turkish representative of Israeli company Rivulis/Eurodrip, the second biggest supplier of drip irrigation systems in the world;          

-          Christian Le Roux, from French M2i, a leading French company for organic control of pests through pheromones;  

-          Alexsei Ermachkov, from Russian LLC Traktor, a leading company for production of small-scale tractors;

-          Aziz Rasulov, from Uzbekistan, representing the international organization NGO Fairtrade;

-          Aleksei Shuplesov, from the Export Promotion Centre of Kirov Oblast in Russia;

-          Sergei Borisovec, from the Verkhochijemski Kombinat of Kirov Oblast in Russia;

-          Maksim Plekhov, from Agrotrade of Kirov Oblast in Russia;

-          Alois Schonberger, a leading Austrian investor in Central Asia, currently setting up a logistic centre in Uzbekistan and 20 ha of modern greenhouses (with global leader Netafim). He was participating together with his two assistants in charge of those projects;

-          And finally, seven Chinese investors gathered by the Sughd Executive Office.

Making all in all 23 representatives from 9 different countries of international firms not already established in Tajikistan (Schiever Tajikistan/Auchan represented by a French and a Russian representative were not counted).


As for former Forums, the aim of the Forum was to “Think together and Act together”. And it defined the logic of the programme.

During the two days of the Forum itself, there was a combination of plenary sessions (morning of the first day) focused mainly on delivering key strategic information and messages regarding the environment for action. The second part of that day was dedicated to field visits organized both by the Sughd Executive Office and ECTAP. During the morning of the second day, there were two parallel working groups, the first one working on production at field level, the second at post-harvest level. They allowed for effective dissemination of information from enterprises, both international and local, and BtoB.

As so many businesses wanted to present their activities the programme was very intense with limited time for each presentation. But thanks to efficient moderators, time discipline was achieved.

The logic of the Forum was to achieve the highest level of exchanges between participants. This objective could be met during the field visits, a festive dinner with Tajik dance, and by the organization of a lunch exchange organized by the Deputy Governor of Sughd (with restricted participation of only international companies).


For the international companies, apart from the Forum, a special programme of field visits has also been organized on Monday afternoon for three different groups:

-          Group 1, processing: visits of companies Obi Zulol in Istaravchan and Gulzod in Jabo Rasulov with Italian company Pietrabiasi;

-          Group 2, efficient irrigation and agronomic systems: visit with the French ambassador and the Hokim (head) of Varzob district of a valley for which irrigation systems have to be replaced (pumps) and for which large scale drip irrigation could be developed with fruits and vegetables. Including Rivulis/Eurodrip, M2i, MAY Tarim Fidancilik;

-          Group 3, tomato paste processing: visit of the Geha Food plant in Rudaki district. This plant has been built with state-of-the-art Italian equipment but has been idled for years as it requires additional investment (modern greenhouses for seedlings) and as its Austrian owner is now too old to organize its procurement base. Visit with Jerusalem Eskimo and IIRRI-al-tal.

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Outcomes: towards concrete deliverables

The Forum has undoubtedly achieved its goals of “thinking and acting together”. But these can only be considered as intermediate goals, as a starting point to deliver concrete results on the ground to Enhance the Competitiveness of Tajik Agriculture and to improve the living conditions in Tajikistan.

The immediate result of the BtoB activities of the Forum has been the signing of contracts for 450 t of fruits and vegetables as per list enclosed to this document.

Meanwhile, the Uzbek representative of French company Dalival has just identified a potential client in Uzbekistan for the Italian provider of processing equipment Pietribiasi he met during the Forum.

However, expected outcomes from the Forum go much beyond this “matchmaking” approach.

At field level, as has been the case with the December 2017 Beef-and-dairy Forum and the May 2018 Poultry Forum, the Forum should be used to push forward the Test, Train and Transfer (TTT) strategic approach of ECTAP.

In this regard, subject to preliminary EUD approval, ECTAP plans:

-          To organize a study tour to France in January 2019 including inter alia visit of the fruit and vegetable logistic centre of Schiever in Avallon (Burgundy), visit of producers of seedlings for walnuts in Grenoble (Pépinoix), visit of orchards for stone fruit and pome fruit in the Durance valley, a region with agronomic features rather similar to some areas of Tajikistan and whose Vice-President would be interested by a twinning agreement with the country, visit of Darneaud-Dalival nurseries for stone fruit in Montelimar (Dalival was a participant in the Forum), visit of irrigation systems of BRL in lower Rhône, one of the most effective irrigation systems on earth based on a PPP partnership (BRL could not attend the Forum but was represented by Rivulis/Eurodrip, visit of cooperative Limagrain in Clermont Ferrand, the 4th biggest seed producer in the world and the 2nd biggest for seeds of vegetables, visit of apples and pears orchards in the region of Angers, and participation in the International Fair SIVAL (https://www.sival-angers.com), one of the most important professional fairs for fruits and vegetables with more than 640 exhibitors.

 

-          To Test new types and varieties of fruit well suited to agronomic features of Tajikistan and Train local extensionists in their management. Establishment of small experimental orchards for training purposes will focus in particular on mountainous areas and will be done in partnership with local farmers groups.

 

Further details can be obtained from the organizers at the following address: Enhanced Competitiveness of Tajik Agribusiness Project (ECTAP), Rudaki Avenue 14, 734003 Dushanbe, Tajikistan, E-mail: ectap@int.fs.de




International Participants

-          Emanuele Carollo, from Italian supplier of food processing equipment Pietribiasi Michelangelo srl; 

-          Yehuda Hayun, from Israeli investor and provider of technical assistance in industrial tomato, Jerusalem Eskimo;

-          Zvi Luria, from Israeli provider of technical assistance and first Israeli kibbutz IIRRI-al-tal;

-          Ahmad Rahmanov and Kamariddin Davlet, the Uzbek representatives of French Dalival, the leading supplier of fruit genetics;

-          Yunus Zamahay, from Turkish MAY Tarim Fidancilik (Arboriculture) LLC, another leading supplier of fruit genetics;

-          Nazim Arundar, the Turkish representative of Israeli company Rivulis/Eurodrip, the second biggest supplier of drip irrigation systems in the world;          

-          Christian Le Roux, from French M2i, a leading French company for organic control of pests through pheromones;  

-          Alexsei Ermachkov, from Russian LLC Traktor, a leading company for production of small-scale tractors;

-          Aziz Rasulov, from Uzbekistan, representing the international organization NGO Fairtrade;

-          Aleksei Shuplesov, from the Export Promotion Centre of Kirov Oblast in Russia;

-          Sergei Borisovec, from the Verkhochijemski Kombinat of Kirov Oblast in Russia;

-          Maksim Plekhov, from Agrotrade of Kirov Oblast in Russia;

-          Alois Schonberger, a leading Austrian investor in Central Asia, currently setting up a logistic centre in Uzbekistan and 20 ha of modern greenhouses (with global leader Netafim). He was participating together with his two assistants in charge of those projects;

And finally, seven Chinese investors gathered by the Sughd Executive Office.

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