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Silly Dictator Story #22: Rahmon’s Solution To Food Shortages

Tajikistan's president surrounded by food.

Tajikistan's president surrounded by food.

There is nothing silly about food shortages. There are, however, silly statements. On September 26, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon urged his countrymen to store two years’ worth of food reserves in order to prepare for the upcoming harsh winter.

Rahmon also reminded his countrymen that rising commodity prices makes the effective use of agricultural resources imperative.

In a country where food shortages are a serious issue, urging people to store two years' worth of food reserves over the duration of several months may prove difficult.

In Tajikistan, the majority of the population spends between 70 and 80 percent of their income on food and 47 percent survive on less than $1.33 a day.

In 2011, high food and fuel prices led to crop and livestock losses. Rahmon blamed the increasing food prices partially on local farmers, saying that prices increased because “we did not work properly last year and did not fulfill the instructions in time.”

This latest presidential decree comes at a time when there are fears of a global food crisis. This year, the United States experienced its worst drought in more than 50 years, raising fears that it could lead to major hikes in maize and soybean prices.

According to the World Bank, droughts in the United States and Eastern Europe caused global food prices to increase by 10 percent in July.

This situation shouldn't bother Tajiks, however, as Rahmon appears to have a plan in place to handle any food shortages that might arise...

-- Deana Kjuka

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About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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