Tajikistan Tajikistan

Considered to be the poorest region of the former Soviet Union, the development of Tajikistan relies heavily on loans via microfinance, particularly in the rural areas of the nation.

  • Tajikistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tajikistan

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Sharofifin Davlatov

    From childhood, I was interested in his craft, and over the years I learned how to make woodwork with my own hands. The years passed and I had my own clients, so I rented premises, where I started my own activity in this direction.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Turdigul Abdulazizova

    Prior to cooperating with HUMO, Turdigul faced a lot of problems. She used to buy and sell milk. She collected milk from villagers every day and then sold it on the market. So she made a living.

    After consulting with her husband, Turdigul first applied for a loan in HUMO in March 2015. Having received the money, she bought 3 calves and started a livestock business.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Tuhfa Dodoboeva

    Tuhfa is a spirited woman. She practices sewing, and has been working in this field for more than 18 years. She continues her mother's and grandmother’s craft. Tuhfa mainly accepts orders for tailoring traditional men's clothing, as well as scarves. According to her, it is comfortable for her to sew at home. Her daughter helps her hard in this activity, because they have many orders.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Guldona Shoeva

    However, in the beginning, the road to success was not easy for her. She did not have enough initial capital to start her business.

    One day, Guldona heard from her neighbor about the activities of HUMO. She applied to this organization and received a loan to open a canteen. During the year, she made good profits and managed to purchase one retail outlet in the market.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Dilbarkhon Lolaeva

    Before getting a loan, they had only a couple of cattle. They could not increase the number of animals, because the barn where they kept the cattle was very small and old. Dilbarkhon decided to apply for a loan in order to improve and expand their activity.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Dalersho Jalilov

    When representatives of HUMO came to his village, he first learned about the conditions of lending. He liked this meeting and he decided to change his life.

    After consulting with his family, he turned to HUMO for a microcredit. He used his first loan (which was funded by MicroWorld lenders) for the purchase of mineral fertilizers and used them for a crop of corn, which he sowed on 0.15 hectares of land.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Bunyod Muhamadiev

    Bunyod works on the route Khujand-Spitamen and knows this road by heart. Bunyod has been working in the transportation business for five years. During this period, he gained his regular customers.

    On average, Bunyod makes 6 trips per day. His working day starts at six in the morning and ends at eight in the evening. Every day before starting work, Bunyod first inspects the car, checks the brakes, the fuel tank, the cleanliness of the car and only after that, he travels the route. He considers that it is his duty to ensure the safety and comfort of his passengers.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Bahri Nematova

    From early childhood, she helped her parents in agriculture. After graduation, she worked independently in the orchard and with animals, and after her marriage she continued these activities.

    She has three children: 2 sons and 1 daughter. Her daughter is married and lives separately. Her eldest son is currently working in Russia, and her younger son helps her in her activities. This month, she wants to marry her son and teach her future daughter-in-law the basics of gardening and animal husbandry.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Avaz Umarkulov

    It is already the fourth time that Avaz cooperates with HUMO. He has used the current loan to buy livestock. Avaz inherited this profession from his father and grandfather.

    Today, he has increased the number of his animals and thereby doubled the family income. Before the loans, he had only one cattle, and now his livestock reaches up to 4 heads.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Hojar Hojamurodova

    With these thoughts, Hojar Hojamurodova after consulting with her husband and son, came to the conclusion that it was necessary to get a loan for the renovation of their barnyard and the development of their livestock activity.
    Since their cattle yard required urgent renovation, but her husband and son could not go to Russia to work, because of deportation, they had financial problems.

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Social and Economic Context

Tajikistan is a relatively unknown country which became independent after the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991. It shares frontiers with Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north and China to the East. The poorest country in Central Asia and the former Soviet Union, certain particularities demonstrate the rich history of the region. Indeed, the Tajiks are the only people in Central Asia who do not speak a Turkish language. Tajik is a Persian language closely resembling the Persian dialect spoken in Iran and Dari, spoken in Afghanistan, but it is written in the Cyrillic alphabet which was adopted by the Russians at the time of the annexation at the end of the 19th century.

Its recent history is marked by a civil war which began at the time of the break up of the Soviet Union resulting in the loss of nearly 50 000 lives. Today the Republic of Tajikistan is still considered by international observers to be relatively unstable, and its institutions, beset by problems caused by the country’s poverty, are very fragile. Corruption often proves to be an obstacle to the development of the country’s fair trade. However it should be noted that education is guaranteed for all and statistics show that literacy in the country is at almost 100%. Geographically mountains account for 93% of the country and its climate is very continental as the sea is situated thousands of kilometres away.


The Tajiks claim to be heirs of the Samanid Empire which was the first Persian state to be reformed after being conquered by the Arabs in the 7th and 8th century. The Samanid Empire was the birthplace of towns such as Bukhara and Samarkand which developed thanks to the tradesmen who passed through them travelling on the Silk Road. The Samanid Empire was gradually invaded by Turkish tribes from Central Asia and the Altai Steppe (territory which today is shared between Mongolia and China) but it is Persian culture which continues to dominate the region.

The present day Tajikistan was conquered by the Russians in the 19th century representing the Southern limit of Russian influence in Asia at that period. The Republic of Tajikistan was created in 1924 and was an integral part of the Soviet Union at the collapse of which a violent civil war broke out, lasting from 1992 until 1997, opposing the partisans of the ancient communist regime to several opposing parties, ranging from liberal democrats to Islamic groups. The opposition finally seized control and the president and the government have remained in power since 1997, upheld by two elections in the 2000s which, according to international observers, were tainted by corruption and fraud.

Tajikistan Culture

Overall Tajikistan’s culture and language is Persian. The majority of the population are Sunni Muslims. The Tajiks have adopted certain elements of Russian culture which were predominant in the region for over a century particularly the fact that the Tajik language is a Persian language written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Other Turkish ethnic minorities can also be encountered (Uzbeks and Kyrgyzs). The Pamir Mountains cover the main part of the country to the east and the south and the inhabitants speak a variety of Pamir languages which today are considered in danger of becoming extinct since they are only spoken by a few hundred thousand people.

Microfinance in Tajikistan

Tajikistan is a country with very few banking facilities. Microfinance plays an important role, especially in rural areas where microfinance institutions are often the only means for the population to obtain financial services. There are around forty institutions present in the country, and our partner HUMO is classed fourth in terms of serving the population.

Republic of Tajikistan
Flag Emblem
Anthem: Surudi Milli
(and largest city)
38°33'N 68°48'E? / ?38.55°N 68.8°E? / 38.55; 68.8
Official language(s) Tajik[1][2] [3]
Language for inter-ethnic
Demonym Tajikistani[5]
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
 -  President >Emomalii Rahmon
 -  Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov
Independence (from the Soviet Union)
 -  Establishment of the Samanid Empire 875 AD 
 -  Declared September 9, 1991 
 -  Completed December 25, 1991 
 -  Total 143,100 km2 (102nd)
55,251 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.8
 -  2010 estimate 7,995,754[5] (96th)
 -  2000 census 6,127,000 
 -  Density 48.6/km2 (155th)
125.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2009 estimate
 -  Total $13.666 billion[6] 
 -  Per capita $2,103[6] 
GDP (nominal) 2009 estimate
 -  Total $4.982 billion[6] 
 -  Per capita $767[6] 
Gini (2004) 33.59 (medium
HDI (2007) increase 0.688[7] (medium) (127th)
Currency Somoni (TJS)
Time zone TJT (UTC+5)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code TJ
Internet TLD .tj
Calling code 992
1 Estimate from State Statistical Committee of Tajikistan, 2008; rank based on UN figures for 2005.



HUMO is a microfinance institution in Tajikistan. Established in the east of the country where the majority of the population is concentrated, the institution has a dozen branches spread over the rural areas of the country. The institution serves a little over 13 000 clients by means of loans which are mainly distributed to groups of borrowers wishing to develop agricultural activities (livestock farming and sales, cultivation of various products) or small businesses (mainly market vendors or cottage industries).


Humo’s mission is to "provide access to a wide range of high-quality banking services, innovative financial solutions for the population and representatives of micro, small and agribusiness, in order to promote social and economic development of the Republic of Tajikistan".

HUMO combines its ambition to become one of the main players in the sector of microfinance in Tajikistan (today it is the 4th largest institution) with the objective of controlling expansion, by closely monitoring its clients’ situations and promoting transparency in the sector particularly so that the risk of the population falling into excessive debt is avoided.


“HUMO and Partners” arose from a microfinance programme initiated by CARE, an American NGO. At the end of 2004 the programme was transformed resulting in a microfinance institution being registered with the Tajik authorities.
Historically HUMO’s mission is to serve the farming populations using a group methodology. These groups, composed of between 3 and 10 people (of whom a president and a treasurer are nominated) are set up prior to the loan request being made. The groups then meet in order to take part in an orientation session introducing them to the principles of microcredit, which enables them to obtain access to a loan which finances an income generating activity. Each member receives an individual loan and acts as guarantor on a group level for all the other members of the group. Since quite recently HUMO distributes individual loans which are often targeted at clients with a more stable and substantial economic activity.

At the end of 2008, HUMO received from the Tajik Bank a licence accorded by the Central Bank of Tajikistan and hence modified its status from an NGO to a “Non- bank financial institution.” This new status enabled it to obtain more funding and thus expand further.
In 2009, Tajikistan was hit by the financial crisis. Since a large proportion of its domestic income was dependant on Tajik emigrants residing in Russia, (over a million out of a total population of approximately 7 million), the country was beset by a serious recession which affected HUMO’s clients’ business activities. The institution, considering the high risk of non-repayment of loans and excessive debt involved for its clients, decided to drastically reduce the number of loans being disbursed. Today the recession is over and HUMO has begun to expand again, setting up new branches in the North of the Country.


HUMO allocates group or individual loans to help the development of agricultural ventures (livestock farming, cultivation) and businesses (merchants, cottage industries or services).

The profile of entrepreneurs

Tajikistan was part of the former Soviet Union. Many of HUMO’s clients have progressed from the status of employee in factories to being self-employed in all types of activities, for example taxi drivers, cobblers, market traders… A large proportion of HUMO’s portfolio focuses on agricultural ventures, particularly livestock farming which is often complementary to other economic ventures, for example a certain quantity of HUMO’s clients are school teachers.

Humo's website : humo.tj
Key figures - December 2011
Legal status NBFI (Non-Bank Financial Institution)
Number of borrowers 12,478
Size of loan portfolio $7,915,344
Average loan balance $634
Average borrower interest rate 3.6% per month
Total number of staff 225
PAR (Portfolio at Risk) 1.79%