Chemonics International initiated implementation of the three-year USAID Land Reform and Farm Restructuring Project (LRFRP) in Tajikistan on October 1, 2013. LRFRP is designed to continue the successful initiatives implemented by the USAID Land Reform Project in Tajikistan (2010-2013).
During the reporting period (October-December 2014), LRFRP continued momentum achieved in year one and rigorously began implementation of the year two work plan. Among our accomplishments are the following:
Task 1. Land Policy and Legislative Drafting
- LRFRP hosted a working group meeting of the Development Coordination Committee (DCC) on Land attended by World Bank, EU, GIZ FFPSD, FAO UN, DFID, ADB and USAID on October 7, 2014 to discuss issues related to rights of for the land use certificates alienation rights. As the result of the meeting, the USAID submitted the official letter to the Deputy Prime Minister Murodali Alimardon on behalf of the DCC members, addressing the concerns on rights of alienation issues.
- LRFRP’s in cooperation with the inter-ministerial working group finalized three pieces of legislation (i) Draft Regulation on Establishing Public (Involuntary) Easements; (ii) Draft Rules on Transacting with Land Use Rights in the Land Use Rights Market; (iii) Draft Regulation on Use Rights to Lands Located within Coastal Lines and Public Territories and submitted them to the GoT for consideration and approval.
- LRFRP participated in the extended working session of the GoT and Donor Development Partners on Agrarian Reform on December 11, 2014 to discuss implementation of the Agrarian Reform in Tajikistan. Following the discussion, Deputy Prime Minister Murodali Alimardon confirmed that the issues related to the right of alienation is under GoT consideration.
- LRFRP hosted and facilitated a working group meeting that included representatives from State Land Committee, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agriculture, Parliament of Tajikistan, State Unitary Enterprise “State registration of immovable property and rights on it”, the Presidential Office on December 12, 2014, to develop the work plan for 2015.
Task 2. Build Capacity of Stakeholders to Capitalize on Land Reform
- LRFRP’s grantee public organization Sabzbahor organized a focus group discussion on women’s land use rights on October 1, 2014, in the Vakhsh district for 14 leaders/heads of female dehkan farms, women activists, and female farmers who wish to create their own dehkan farms. The U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan, Susan Elliot, also participated in the event.
- On October 20-26, 2014, LRFRP organized an internal, in-country study tour to the Sughd region for 24 female heads and shareholders of dehkan farms from the Khatlon region to exchange knowledge and experience of the successful land reform and farm restructuring process in the north of Tajikistan. During a six day trip the participants visited Khujand, Jabbor Rasulov rayon, Bobojon Gafurov rayon, Asht rayon, Kanibadam, and Spetamen.
- Legal Aid Centers (LACs) participated in a structured training on roles and responsibilities of Water User Associations organized by the USAID Family Farming project on October 23, 2014.
- LRFRP conducted a quarterly meeting with tashabuskors in Qurghonteppa on December 17-18, 2014.
- LACs established by Arbitrazh, Navzamin, Ilhom, and Zanoni Dehot concluded 111 trainings, and 431 focus groups meetings in addition to individual advisory services in support of increased land use rights awareness and protection. The services were provided by the LACs with a network of tashabuskors in 9 districts. In first quarter of second project year by 991 individuals received consultations, two court representations were provided and 18 conflicts were resolved by LACs lawyers.
Task 3. Land Rights and Farm Restructuring Public Information and Awareness
- On October 21 and 28, 2014, LRFRP produced two fifteen-minute radio programs (7th and 8th) on the farm restructuring process in Jilikul, Khuroson, and Qabodiyon rayons and women’s rights to land for local government authorities in Khuroson and A.Jomi rayons.
- Also in October, LRFRP produced two 10-minute TV programs (7th and 8th) focused on women’s rights in dehkan farms as well as recent project activities in A.Jomi, Khuroson, and Yovon rayons.
- In October, the project produced 6th newsletter, 3000 copies of which were distributed to farmers, local authorities, tax bodies, and land committees through the LAC and Tashabuskor network. Content included information on land taxation, results of the survey on women’s rights to land in the Khatlon region, cotton purchasing prices and cotton-related challenges that arose in Khatlon.
Task 4. Support the provision of legal advice and other assistance to promote farm restructuring and the development of a market in land-use rights
- On December 16, 2014, LRFRP’s LAC Sustainability Expert Tiernan Mennen, conducted a sustainability training for 10 LACs (Yovon, Khuroson, Shahritus, N. Khisrav, Bokhtar, A. Jomi, Sarband, J. Rumi and Qumsangir) to discuss comments and offers regarding sustainability business plans presented by each LAC.
This quarter, the project faced passive NGO participation and weak applications to its grants and subcontracts competitions. The project is seeking additional opportunities to raise awareness among NGOs of solicitations and enable NGOs that are interested to better understand the competition process and meet requirements.