Woman in white headscarf holds apricot on the tree

ITC boosts Tajik apricot branding and marketing to access global markets

7 December 2023
ITC News

Despite their renowned quality, Tajik apricot producers struggled to export globally. With ITC's strategic training in branding and social media, they are now enhancing their global presence and gaining access to new international markets.

Known for stunning mountains and quality dried apricots, Tajikistan's apricot cultivation is key to many farmers' income. Yet, despite their excellent products, businesses struggle with branding and with their digital presence, hindering access to some international markets. 

To tackle these challenges, Tajik apricot producers underwent a brand development and social media training through the EU-funded Ready4Trade Central Asia project at the International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with Trade Promotion East: Balkan states and Central Asia. 

Comprehensive online tactics for market growth 

Mastering digital marketing skills enables businesses to effectively showcase their products, reaching wider audiences and driving international sales. 

Four trainers were trained on 4 key modules:

  • photography 

  • storytelling content creation aimed at buyers 

  • branding pillars 

  • social media creation and optimization.  

These trainers then led workshops for 10 Tajik apricot producers.   

Tajik producers learned how to create a strong brand identity, compelling brand stories, and effectively communicate the uniqueness and quality of their dried apricots to potential customers. 

By the end of the training, each company had updated branding and captivating new marketing materials, with professional photos and enhanced storytelling techniques. 

A unique company-tailored approach  

The programme leverages companies' unique strengths for effective product promotion, specializing in agricultural marketing in this case.  

‘The uniqueness of this training was in its methodology and how the company information was processed. The data was collected from the companies. Their unique features are their strengths, which let them promote their own products with unique service and characteristics,’ said Rustam Shodibekov, the lead national trainer for Ready4Trade Central Asia. 

‘Although we have companies with similar product ranges, they all are different. The methodology puts all logos, narratives, brochures, and information in the digital space in a professional way.’ 

‘As a leading trainer, I am happy to be part of this professional team, learn and improve my skills,’ he said. 'I will definitely use the package of skills and knowledge I got during the activity in the future possible projects on branding.’ 

 ‘The methodology of the activity is unique and definitely will support the private sector in marketing and branding. The right marketing and branding will increase export potential of Tajikistan products,’ said Alijon Aliev, the National Project Manager for Ready4Trade Central Asia. 

A new chapter to global recognition 

Tajik producers now have a clear understanding of branding and storytelling. They can effectively communicate their history, traditions, and commitment to producing top-quality dried apricots to demanding international buyers. 

Through enhanced quality, branding, and digital presence, Tajik producers are now on a path to global recognition and success. This initiative serves as a model for empowering other agricultural communities and fostering economic growth in Tajikistan. 

Worker in white garments kneels to inspect apricots drying in the sun
Isfara City, Tajikistan, 2023. A worker handles apricots drying in the sun for Mevai Tilloi from Sughd region, Isfara City.
Photo by Nazim Kalandarov