Competition Within the State, With the State and Beyond the State: Agricultural Extension in Tajikistan and the Struggles of Market Formation
Agriculture in Tajikistan has gone through deep transformations since the mid-1990s. During Soviet times, agricultural land was organized into collective farms (kolkhozes) or state run farms (sovkhozes). Inputs such as seeds or fertilizers were provided by the state (Beniwal et al., 2010; Kazbekov and Qureshi, 2011; Shtaltovna, 2013). Agricultural knowledge was produced by the agricultural ministries, agrarian universities, colleges and research institutes, academies of agricultural sciences, research centres, kolkhozes and sovkhozes (Morgounov and Zuidema, 2001; Kazbekov and Qureshi, 2011; Shtaltovna, 2015). After 1991, this system was subverted: the network of state institutions involved in agricultural related development collapsed, private land ownership was reintroduced and thousands of small farms, mainly family run, were established. Such large and abrupt changes have caused a decline in agricultural production, as small-scale farmers lacked experience and skills, legislation on land use was not clear, the internal market was not developed and agricultural inputs were expensive and difficult to procure (Shtaltovna, 2015). The political and economic environment was also not favourable: in 1992 a bloody civil war broke out in the country, further exacerbating the adverse effects of Soviet collapse (Akiner, 2001; Whitlock, 2002; Boboyorov, 2012; Mandler, 2013).
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