Horticulture and vine-growing has always been the traditional sphere of agriculture in Central Asia, one of the most important centers of origin for temperate fruit species with very rich specific and intraspecific diversity of fruit trees. Since ancient times, folk selection of crops including local set of varieties of fruits and grapes, adapted to local soil and climatic conditions have been strongly developed in different regions of Uzbekistan.
Local varieties play an important role in ensuring food security in the region. Therefore, they are grown and stored on farms and in-home gardens, serving as important factor in ensuring the stability of agricultural production. Local varieties are a source of important economic traits and play a special role in the creation of new varieties in selection as the primary material.
Within the framework of project, implemented with the support of Bioversity International on “Establishment of a seed system platform to supply farmers with high quality planting material of temperate fruit trees within CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems in Central Asia,” expeditionary observations of farms in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm Region of Uzbekistan have revealed varieties of fruits and grapes, adapted to adverse environmental conditions.
The climatic conditions of these areas are characterized as sharply continental and arid. There is a high likelihood of late spring frosts, and almost every year the frost blasts the buds of fruit seedlings. Most of the land used in agriculture is saline. These factors have a negative impact on the large-scale development of horticulture and viticulture.
Resistance to drought, soil salinity, and late spring frosts are the most important biological properties of the varieties used in production by local farmers.
Within the research, varieties with resistance to drought and late spring frosts, and at the same time with a high yield and fruit quality were identified in the farms by project fellows.
The farmers in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm region are engaged in cultivation of local apple varieties that are resistant to adverse external conditions, such as "Shoyi olma,", "Shur olma,", "Khazarasp olma,", "Yozgi," "Qishki" and others.
Most of the varieties of apricot, common in the north of Uzbekistan, showed resistance to late spring frosts. That is why apricot in this region consistently brings harvest.
The project team has identified more than 60 farmers, including women, engaged in cultivation of varieties adapted to local conditions, and established a close cooperation with them.
Within the project activities, seminars, round tables, educational and practical courses were held in the fruit trees nurseries to familiarize farmers with varieties of fruit seedlings resistant to adverse external conditions, as well as their basic characteristics, properties and biochemical composition. The practical demonstration of the structure of nurseries, techniques of breeding varieties of fruits and grapes as well as the quality criteria for growing seedlings were demonstrated to farmers during workshops.
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.