Financial support from the European Union and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has helped entrepreneurs in Tajikistan to expand their businesses.
As part of the Enhanced Competitiveness of Tajik Agribusinesses Project (ECTAP), the EBRD lends up to €20 million to beneficiaries through local banks and micro finance institutions.
The European Union (EU) complements it with around €10 million for technical support, investment grants, and risk-sharing.
Dairy farmer Saida Rajabova is one of the beneficiaries of this project, which has, so far, helped more than 260 people.
She obtained a US$ 8,500 loan from Eskhata Bank, a local partner of EBRD, to grow her business.
The money helped her to learn and implement measures to increase milk production. She also bought a larger milk carrier with a capacity of over 1,000 litres.
“I wanted to build my own small farming business to support my family and to help our local community and women in the village to make a better living," Rajabova said.
Presently, women from 28 local cow-owning households supply milk to her business. As part of the project, her village group joined training sessions on how to best feed their cows, prevent diseases, and produce higher quality milk.
Later, Rajabova enrolled for training courses in mozzarella and Adyghe cheese production. She designed her own cheese brand ‘Subhiya’ and has obtained a patent for the brand.
She gained insights on improving the packaging and labelling of products, as well as ingredients to use for making different types of cheese.
The programme also connected her to local supermarket chains and pizza restaurants in Dushanbe.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.