Scientific research

Cultivation of giant reed (Arundo donax L.) to establish shelterbelts around the estates to protect from hot winds and for other economic purposes

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Agrotechnology of cultivation of giant reed (Arundo donax) forprotection of households against winds and dust, and the variouseconomic purposes.

Brief summary of technology:

Planting of giant reed (Arundo donax) in the extremely hot conditionsof Karakum desert provides protection of householdsagainst dry winds and a dust, improves ecological living conditionsof local population. Giant reed is a cereal perennial plant,which reaches a height of 3-4 m, and the yield of stalks is 200t/ha. The plant is cultivated by rhizomes.

To plant, the rhizomes are dug out and are cut by secateurs intopieces so that each rhizome has one bud. Planting around householdsis carried out in strips with width of 3-8 m.

During the autumn and winter period a site is fenced with anearth shaft of 25х25 cm and filled with water. Preplanting actionsinclude site planning, soil tilling to a depth of 20 cm, a harrowingand making of planting furrows to a depth of 15 cm in every 60cm. The prepared rhizomes plant on furrows perpendicularly inplanting holes in 0.4 m and are covered with soil. Shootings from buds appear in spring. Irrigations are carried out in the first yearin 8 days, and the next years in 15 days.

The site is fenced from animals. Planting will serve the farmer forat least 60 years without additional expenses.

The Bokurdak settlement was a pilot study area for the GIA project.  Planting was carried out in several stages:  1) establishmentof public committee during a meeting of inhabitants of the village; 2) carrying out a seminar for training and demonstration ofgiant reed cultivation approaches; 3) rendering of financial supportto 5 households, who wished to grow giant reed for propagandapurposes and demonstration of the effect of technology.

Location: Rukhabad district, Akhal province.

Area of technology application: 1 ha.

Stage of intervention: rehabilitation / restorationof forest-free land.

Main land use issues and the main causes of landdegradation:

Shortage of irrigation water, high temperatures insummer and low in winter, dry winds, dusty storms, heavy clayey and loamy soils with low contents of organicmatter. Vegetation around settlements is cutdown that led to desertification and formation of barchansands.

Main technical features of technology:

Improvement of land cover, increase of biomass, decreaseof wind speed, increase of biodiversity.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Pasture land .

Extensive Pasture land Пэ(Ge).

Vegetation measures:

В1: Coverage with trees and bushes.

Environment

Habitat Anthropogenic environment

Average annual rainfall: <250 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 100-500 m.

Landscape: plain.

Slope (%): flat, smooth 0-2%.

Soil fertility: low.

Humus content in arable horizon: <1% (low).

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: low and average.

Size of land area (ha): 0.25-0.3 ha.

Landholder: households.

Land ownership: state, lease, private.

Water use rights: through WUAs

Market orientation: mixed farming (subsistence andcommercial).

Assessment

Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- technology of giant reed cultivation is simple;

- demands a little irrigation (irrigations of sites near Аrundo will be sufficient for the plant to spread inthis site);

- the plant is unpretentious and does not demandcaring;

- long life of planting (till 60 years);

- interest of farmers in cultivation of Аrundo.

Main disadvantages:

- this technology demands some irrigation water,which is very highly deficient in settlements.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: widely accepted by local farmers. A limiting factor is a severe shortage ofwater.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database. Technology code: T T_TUM002ru.

Compiled by: Nikolay Zverev, CACILM MSEC. 10.11.2011. WOCAT database reference: Contact person: Kakabay Baysakhatov.The farmer of the Bokurdak settlement growing Аrundo. Tel.: 24-74-06

Name of person (s) collected this description: Tatyana Hamzina, Chief specialist on soil reclamation studies and irrigationregime. UZGIP LTD.

Address: 44, Navoi str., Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Tel.: +998 90 9945654

Email:  tatyana_khamzina@mail.ru

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