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Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land Management

Agroecosystems

Central Tajikistan

Agroecosystem: Rainfed

Country: Tajikistan

Province: Central Tajikistan

District: Gissar

Community: Sharora village

GPS coordinates of farm:

1st point - N 38.482242; E 68.671892;            2nd point - N 38.482097; E 68.672622;

3rd point - N 38.481111; E 68.671406;            4th point - N 38.480869; E 68.672076.

Technology package tested: Cultivation of agricultural crops by a zero (or minimum) soil tillage

Area under demonstration: 0.5 ha

Starting and ending year of the demonstrated technology package: March, 2014 - June, 2016.

Name of farmer: Mr.Atokhudzha Shamsov (chairman of an experimental-industrial farm).

Age: 53

Household size: 6 people

Farm type or what is this farm mainly engaged in: Crop production and animal husbandry

Sources of off farm (household) income: - Trade of produced agricultural products

What percentage of annual household income comes from agricultural production on the farm: 70%

Total farm size: 522 ha, of which 268 ha is irrigated, 264 ha is rained land

Source of irrigation: Irrigation channels (for irrigated land), precipitation (on rainfed land)

Area under crops and type of crops: cotton on 25 ha, flax on 5 ha, safflor on 3 ha, grain crops on 372 ha including winter wheat on 341 ha; winter barley on 15 ha, maize for grain on 5 ha, rice on 6 ha, chick-pea on 5 ha, potatoes on 2 ha, vegetables on 2 ha, forage crops (beet, silo, lucerne, etc.) on 113 ha.

Number and type of livestock: 56 heads, including cattle – 21 heads, small cattle – 35 heads

Number and type of trees: Apple, pear, apricot, mulberry and nuts – altogether 1570 trees.

Have you expanded the area of land under the technology being tested since you first started experimenting with this package: Yes, in the autumn of 2014 I sowed wheat on the area of 70 ha in the rainfed conditions.

Please provide more explanation, if Y to the above: Use of modern sowing machinery, decreased costs for fuel and lubricants, seeds and labor expenses; improvement of the soil structure, erosion prevention.

Why are you interested in this technology package? What are the most beneficial outcomes that you have attained since testing this technology? Simultaneous cropping with introduction of mineral fertilizers, reduction of passes of the agricultural machinery, no expenses for irrigation of crops. After combine-assisted harvest of saflor, its productivity on rainfed land of the farm was 0.8 t/ha without accounting for the plant processing activities. 400 kg of full-value grain yields were received from 0.5 ha. Besides, stalks and saflor oil cakes are widely used in animal husbandry as a valuable forage. After harvesting of saflor its vegetative remains serve as a natural pasture forage for small cattle. Durum wheat of a "President" variety was sown on the same site, after the saflor harvest, at the rate of 150 kg/ha. The yields will be received in June, 2015. Sowing was conducted in January, 2015, 100 kg of nitrogen fertilizers were applied in March, 23.

What is the next best alternative to use your land, if you did not implement this technology package? Usual (traditional) technology of cultivation of pasture crops – plowing, leveling, padding, planking, sowing, all operations leading to large expenses of fuel and work.

What are the main advantages/benefits of this technology package being tested relative to the next best alternative that you identified? Use of modern, directly sowing seeders, decrease in fuel and labor expenses, preservation of soil capillaries, improvement of the soil structure, prevention weeds restoration

Have any of your neighbours adopted the technology package that you are testing? This technology is tested for the first time, but there are some farms and production cooperatives, which are recently engaged in cultivation of agricultural crops using a method of zero soil tillage.

If yes to the above, which neighbour(s) (specify their names & location)? Production cooperative named after Latif Murodov, of the Gissar district (chairman Bakhriddin Todzhiddinovich Solekhov).

What are the main challenges that you have faced since initiating this demonstration site? High costs of herbicides to cope with weeds.

In your opinion, is this technology package suitable for all types of farmers? Please explain your answer. This technology gives a good effect in conditions of the rainfed land with abundant precipitation with the annual amounts of 500-600 mm. The use of directly sowing seeders is reasonable in conditions of irrigated agriculture when they are firstly improved by assembling additional furrow-makers into them for irrigation of crops.

Is this technology package relevant for females in your household?

Yes, manual work for women is generally decreased. Women manually carry out weeding and thinning every year.

(interview to probe on whether the technology package has affected the number of hours that females provide to agriculture, or whether it has made certain production practices easier (less labour intensive) for women (but also men)) Manual work of workers is decreased

If you had to pay the full cost for implementing this technology package, would you have initiated this demonstration site? Yes. The main problem of this technology is a delivery of seeders, including direct seeders, to the country. They are generally imported from Australia, Turkey, Brazil, etc. There is a possibility to produce such machinery in the conditions of mechanical workshops of Tajikistan and gradually introduce them into production.

Please propose at least one advice that you would like to provide to the agricultural research community or a desire for the development of technologies that can assist you in improving your household’s wellbeing? Many thanks to the international organization ICARDA and to its regional office in Tashkent for support and cooperation with Agricultural Institute for the development of agrarian sector of the Republic of Tajikistan. Thanks to the scientists, the new technologies, new sowing machinery and other means of mechanization are created, introduction of which labor works and expenses for fuels and lubricants decrease. Besides, the new varieties from the ICARDA’s catalog are introduced in farms of the country, cover larger areas and have comparatively higher yields than Turkish and Chinese introduced varieties.

Project Purpose

Acting as an information repository and knowledge hub, this website helps to increase the use of innovations developed by the well-established CACILM Project in Central Asia. Its synthesis, compilation, and dissemination of current research provide a secure knowledge base that policymakers and other stakeholders can access and utilize to develop sustainable strategies capable of addressing the region’s severe land degradation.

The Project is funded by IFAD and led by ICARDA under framework of CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems.

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