As skyrocketing food prices become an increasingly salient trigger for social and political protests across the developing world, sharp rises in prices for basic foodstuffs in Tajikistan are contributing to a growing popular frustration with the government’s inability to control prices. The food costs in the country rose by up to 30 percent over the last two months, with meat and wheat flour prices jumping 50 percent in some areas. Although government officials expect a moderation in food prices later this year, analysts warn that the costs for major foodstuffs might rise again before Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, in August.
Following sharp rises in wheat prices last year, price escalation has become a recurring trend in Tajikistan. The World Bank estimates that since last summer, the global rise in grain prices has led to a 3.6 percent increase in extreme poverty in Tajikistan. The latest price spike is predicted to have a devastating impact on the diets and disposable incomes of poor families, pushing more families into extreme poverty.