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LESSONS:

Uzbekistan: Ak Altin Agricultural Development Project

sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development | country: Uzbekistan

1. Success of reforms largely depend on support by recruited champions from all stakeholder groups (including the upper levels of government) to a defined reform roadmap. In the case of the Ak Altin Agricultural Development Project in Uzbekistan, donors were keen to free up agriculture, and while the government in principle agreed, it was nonetheless extremely cautious about reforms. The government continued to operate at its own pace, and was almost immune to international pressure, which affected the achievement of reforms. [Main text, para. 25]

2. In establishing viable private agricultural services institutions in transition economy, it is important that the target farmers’ willingness to avail of these services (in the short and long term) and their capacity to pay are assessed and considered during project design and implementation. Under the Ak Altin Agricultural Development Project in Uzbekistan, the Rural Business Advisory Center (RBAC) and the Machinery and Tractor Pool (MTL) were intended to be self-sufficient by project end. This is unlikely to happen for the MTL as the institution’s targeted small cash-strapped farmers are inherently the most challenged to make payments for availed services. Likewise, comments from target farmers indicate that demand for services from the RBAC are only confined during the early stages of the project. [PVR main text, paras. 16, 26; see also PCR Main text, paras. 11, 27]

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