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 : Ashurmoh Saydalieva

    Ashurmoh initially engaged in crop production. In the spring, due to lack of finances, she could not fully use the land for sowing and part of her land remained not sown, which brought her less income.

    On the advice of her father, Ashurmoh applied to the microfinance institution HUMO in 2015 for the first time.

    Having received a loan, she sowed on all plots of her land and increased the profitability of her activity.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Bahodur Kholbaev

    For 10 long years, he has been engaged in sowing cotton and raising cattle. Thanks to these activities, he makes good profit and provides for his family.
    Bahodur sows cotton on a vast stretch of land, and his brothers help him in his activities. They sow cotton in March-April and then harvest in September-November. Then, Bahodur and his brothers, sell the cotton harvest to the factories (at the cotton pick-up points) of their district.

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    Success Story in Tajikistan : Faizigul Abdurahmonova

    Before collaborating with the microfinance institution MDO HUMO, Faizigul faced financial difficulties in her life. At the beginning, she was only engaged in animal husbandry, then when her son married a young dressmaker, she learned from her daughter-in-law to sew dresses and wanted to start her own business in this field. Unfortunately, due to lack of finances, she could not realize her plans.

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    Success Story Tajikistan: Jamshid Kuzimuratov

    Before having access to microloans, Jamshid had 0.05 hectares of leased land. After he began working with the microfinance institution HUMO, his land expanded by 2.5 hectares, on which he sowed onions and melons.

    In addition, he was able to expand the garden of pomegranates, figs and got a good harvest. With his savings, he also managed to improve his quality of life by buying a car.

    Jamshid is currently in his third lending cycle with HUMO. He is a responsible and honest person; he always repays his loans on time.

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    Success Story Tajikistan: Tavhida Abdurasulova

    In 2011, I went to Russia and got a job in the confectionery shop "Karat" of Moscow city. There, I learned how to bake cakes, pastries and other food from my mentor Lyudmila Petrovna. I worked in this confectionery shop for 3 years.

    I was so interested in this job that when I returned to my hometown, I opened my small business.
    I met one of the employees of the microfinance institution HUMO, who came to us to buy sambusas (patties stuffed with meat). I found out from her that HUMO provides loan products to citizens.

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    Success Story Tajikistan : Ashurgul Mirzoeva

    In order to improve her activity, Ashurgul wanted to buy an electronic sewing machine. Her neighbor was a client of the microfinance institution MDO HUMO, so she took his advice and turned to this organization.

    Ashurgul together with her son, received a group loan in January 2018. When Ashurgul took this loan, she had a fear and uncertainty that she would be able to repay it and that her life would improve.

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    Success Story Tajikistan: Akbarjon Tukhtaev

    For 6 years, he has been raising sheeps in the pastures and mountains of the village of Mashal to provide for his family.
    In the fall and winter, he grazes animals mainly on lowland foothill pastures; in spring and summer, in the mountains.

    "The work of a shepherd is not easy. Only the shepherd that will deeply comprehend the secret of sheep farming, take care of animals and protect them from bad weather, attacks of predators, diseases day and night in the heat and cold, can achieve good success in the profession." says Akbarjon.

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    Success Story Tajikistan : Firuz Qurbonov Davlatnazarovich

    Firuz Qurbonov Davlatnazarovich was born on 6 November 1980, in the Hamadoni district, province of Khatlon. He comes from a working-class family and now lives with his wife and children.

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    Success Story Tajikistan : Ulugbek Fayzitdinov

    Ulugbek Fayzitdinov Ismonalievich was born in a farmer family. Even in school years he was interested in livestock breeding and therefore helped his parents in their work. The time spent with the animals gave him great happiness and his dream was to continue his parents’ job. After graduating, Ulugbek went to the army. Returning from the service, Ulugbek married and then went to work in Russia to provide for the family. After several years, he returned to his homeland and bought livestock. However, his income was barely enough to cover his family’s expenses.

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    Success Story Tajikistan : Gulnora Khidirova

    Gulnora Khidirova Elmurodovna is a 27-year-old resident of Gissar, Tajikistan. Her mother was a fish trader. Gradually, her mother taught her how to do her job. Now Gulnora has been independently working in this field for 10 years. She sells dried and fresh fish.

    Gulnora received a loan from Humo for 3000 somoni (285 euros) to expand business. Now she rents a sales point in the central market of Gissar and her activity is quite successful. She repays on time and she is an active Humo client.

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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%