Farmers and entrepreneurs

Aid for Trade Project in Central Asia

 women farmers

UNDP works to create better and more choices for farmers, entrepreneurs and people living in rural areas. Through the Aid for Trade project, UNDP works with governments in Central Asia to develop better policies that in turn help the private sector create jobs, so that people can better support themselves.

The project also works with farmers and entrepreneurs to produce more and better products making them more competitive on both local and global markets.

The third phase of the project is currently ongoing and features the scaling-up of project activities implemented under phase II, while at the same time narrowing the geographic focus to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

As in the previous project phases, project activities under Phase III reflect the principles of human rights-based approaches, national ownership, gender sensitivity, and environmental sustainability. Phase III supports national trade and development policies and programmes that prioritize employment and poverty reduction. The key link is the project’s emphasis on increasing employment and wages, via measures to raise productivity in (mainly agro-processing) small and medium enterprises (and cooperatives), by improving export market access and reducing trading costs.

Some of our results


  • The first and second phase of the regional Aid for Trade project worked in nine countries of the Europe and Central Asian region. The project implemented activities in four Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), two countries in the Caucasus (Armenia and Georgia) and three countries in Western CIS (Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine).
  • During phase II, the project had over 33,166 direct clients, of whom 38 percent were female. 12,708 people were trained, 44 percent of whom were women. Businesses in Tajikistan that participated in trainings sponsored by the project increased their incomes by 10 percent, and in Kyrgyzstan by 12 percent.
  • 1,674 new jobs were created (56 percent of which were for women); over 72,000 people used market information systems established under the project.

A poultry farmer in Nosiri Khusrav near the Tajik-Afghan border. Suraiyo Ostanakulova tends to 300 chickens, and sells over 200 eggs a day. She takes pride in using locally produced feed for the chickens, such as corn, wheat, carrots and alfalfa. She uses the manure from the farm to create organic fertilizer, and sells this to the vegetable farmers in the region. Previously in this district the eggs and chickens were supplied from other regions and districts of Tajikistan. Suraiyo applied to the Aid for Trade “Business Challenge Fund to get a loan for the construction of the henhouse. Now she notes:

“My business has started off well and next I hope to learn more about promoting and advertising my locally produced eggs, so I can find new markets for them in the border region.”

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