Wednesday, May 11, 2011 -
Tajikistan has earmarked $58 million for food subsidies to ease the prices of food purchases for the country’s poorest farmers, the AsiaPlus.tj news agency reported on Wednesday.
The Tajik government has also put aside $13.4 million to buy flour and fuel should it be necessary to provide discounted prices for struggling citizens.
Tajikistan is the poorest country to have emerged from the former Soviet Union, and annual monthly salaries hover around $106.
Food prices have risen precipitously in Central Asia, while Tajikistan has also been hit by a sharp spike in fuel prices due to Russian export taxes increasing by 44 percent this month.
To keep meat prices down, the Tajik government has provided interest-free loans of $11,000 to bazaar merchants in the capital Dushanbe, the news agency reported.
Dushanbe’s Markets and Trade enterprise association received a loan of $221,941, while the consumer cooperatives’ association received $443,882 to keep food prices down.
“These funds have been provided to stabilize the meat prices at the city’s bazaars,” the news agency quoted Dushanbe mayor spokesman Shavkat Saidov as saying.
“Our specialists expect the meat prices in Dushanbe to fully become stable beginning on the middle of next week.”
The World Bank recently warned that Central Asia was especially susceptible to globally rising food prices.