Using data from household income surveys, this article look at income structures amongst households in three mountainous regions of Tajikistan: Upper Badakhshan, the Rasht (former Qarategin) Valley, and Eastern Khatlan. It was found that diversification of income sources was an important element in reducing the likelihood of being poor. Economic activities reducing the risk of being poor include migration and ownership of a business, with salaries and wages being less significant as an income source. Those families selling agricultural or livestock produce are amongst the least likely to be poor, having a production surplus and access to markets. The poor thus include those who have not benefited from the land reform process, who live in agriculturally marginal areas, have large numbers of children and no migrant labour. It is also especially interesting to note that agriculture and livestock together contribute to an average of 65% to 70% of incomes. The rest is dominated by remittances in Rasht, salaries and casual labour in Khatlan, and salaries and pensions and remittances in Upper Badakhshan. The worst situation seems to be in this region with incomes affected by small land areas and a lack of access to markets, reducing the role that agriculture and enterprise could play in poverty reduction, and increasing reliance on economic migration and limited resources of government. This article is then a very interesting paper to better understand the extent of the problems of livelihoods in rural Tajikistan, and it demonstrates the current poverty trap of these regions.

Gaël Raballand, Observatory of Post-Soviet States, Paris
CER: II-7.4.E-669