Livelihood Improvement in Tajik- Afghan Border Areas-ll



The project Livelihood Improvement in Tajik – Afghan Cross Border Areas (LITACA II) is the second phase of a Socio-Economic development project between the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Tajikistan executed by Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghan side and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Tajikistan Office in Tajik side. The project is funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

LITACA offers capacity development opportunities for the local governments, civil society and private sector organizations to sustainably manage local socio-economic development. As well, the project offers investments for rehabilitating priority infrastructure initiatives and business development as a means of improving livelihoods of the target population and thereby promoting stability and security in the region.

To achieve the above, OVOP aims at mobilizing rural communities for bettering their lives by empowering themselves to establish and run their joint businesses. OVOP is a known tool for rural development that takes the local and the less celebrated and transforms them into value-added, widely recognized products. The initiative also emphasizes the use of indigenous natural resources, unique traditional techniques and high quality of products.

LITACA II (2018 – 2020) will be implemented and built on the successes and lessons learned of LITACA I (2014 – 2017). LITACA II is set to expand both in geographical area and population coverage in targeted border districts. In phase II at least 130,072 (cumulative figure from both countries – 85,652 in AFG) people will directly benefit from LITACA II project while the livelihoods of more than 1,823,828(cumulative figure from both countries – 852,128 in AFG) people living in target bordering communities will be strengthened.

The duration of the project is from January 2018 to December 2020 and covers six districts in the provinces of Badakhshan (Shahr Buzorg), Takahr (Cha aab, Yangi Qala, and Dasht e Qala), Kunduz (Imam Sahib), and Balkh (Khulm) that are bordering with Republic of Tajikistan’s Khatlon province (Shaartuz, Qubodiyon, Jayhun, Dusti, Panj, Shamsiddin Shohin, Hamadoni, Farkhor).

The total budget of LITACA II is USD 10.7 million (Afghanistan: USD 6.9 m (USD 5.7 million is Government of Japan (GoJ) contribution and USD 1.2 million is the contribution of UNDP AFG), Tajikistan:  USD 3.8m (GoJ contribution).

Project Objectives and Main activities

1.Rural communities on both sides of the border with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Republic of Tajikistan would be benefited of good governance, Access to rural infrastructure and economic development services. 2.Rural communities on both sides of the border having better opportunities for exchanging of views and cooperation’s. 3.Poverty reduction, economic development and cooperation between communities located in both sides of the border. 4.Create jobs and increase legitimate income of residents in both sides of the border.

5.Value addition to local resources and products based on competitive advantage in village level for potential changes in socio-economic process e.g. changing traditional agriculture to update agribusiness and diversifying rural women handicraft.

6.Implementing one village one product (OVOP) economic method as a comprehensive manner to strengthening value chains of valuable local products and enable the community for business and trade. 7.Establishment local market infrastructure facilities for rural business women and formers. 8.Enhancing capacity of local government representatives and district development assembly members to manage local development processes;

Achievements to date

1.Rehabilitation and construction of 32 rural infrastructures.

2.Piloting one village one product (OVOP) in Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

3.Strengthening local economy through provision of capacity development courses under Our Village Our Pride (OVOP) process to 131 person from which 40% were rural women in Business Development, Principles of Business Management and several courses of Value Chain, literacy, design and diversification of handicraft products, packaging and branding conducted successfully in last 1.5 year

4.Increasing income  and  creating employment opportunities for  sustainable rural economic development through implementation of women economic empowerment projects and conduction of technical training courses for 131 representatives of private sector

5.Construction of OVOP sales centers in the center of Takhar, Taloqan city and OVOP complex comprising of OVOP sales center, cold storage equipped with solar system, packaging center, vocation training center for women and farmers market in Yangi Qala district of Takhar province.

6.Conduction handicraft  and agriculture products business exhibitions inside the country and Tajikistan from which 300 person benefited (150 from each side of border)

7.Construction of common border market from which 100 person from each side of border will be benefited

Once village one product (Our Village Our Pride)

The OVOP movement as a comprehensive development approach with a view to increase income for rural communities through increasing value to local products, development of human resources , products marketing and other services to increase products value. Introduced by Japan International Cooperation Agency and for the first time implemented in Afghanistan by LITACA project. The Strategy for this process is to enhance production, processing and marketing of local products to create opportunities for local investments.

Strategic objectives of the OVOP

The overall objective of the programme is to promote the production, processing and marketing of local products for wealth creation. The specific objectives are to:

1.      Promote establishment of production networks/clusters within the country. 2.      Promote value addition to local materials and products of comparative advantage at community level for social economic transformation 3.Develop human capital and entrepreneurial capacities amongst the participating communities. 4.Strengthen partnerships and linkages between Government, private sector and the donor community, cross border countries. 5.      Create and strengthen market clusters for OVOP products.