Scientific research

Transition from pasture land to fruit and fodder plots

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

The site of the pasture on hills degraded as a result of a overgrazing is fenced and prepared for cultivation of grapes, fruits and herbs by an establishment of terraces, application of manure, planting of trees and irrigation.

Brief summary of technology:

The areas in the Varzob valley of Tajikistan with steep slopes of ca. 30% represent the degraded pastures. The soil surface, which has been almost deprived of vegetation, is compacted and is subject to erosion. In 1982, a landholder-innovator planted grapes and fruit trees on 0.5 ha and above this site prepared another site for grass cultivation on hay on his own initiative. In five years the degraded site turned into a site of sustainable land use.

The first stage of site preparation is an establishment of protection from animals. The scrap metal and other materials were used for a fencing construction of a height of 1.5 m. To collect water  from the above, sloping land, narrow terraces of a back-slope with a water-retaining ditch along a contour were constructed. During the first stage the terraces collected water in quantities insufficient for an establishment of saplings and therefore, an additional irrigation was applied. Water was delivered in old car chambers with the use of donkey force. Manure from above located pastures was delivered to improve soil fertility. Some 3 t/ha of manure was used within 20 years. Ca. 40% of saplings were established.

This experience was used by others households and currently around 15 ha of the degraded land of the Varzob valley were turned into gardens. The innovator cultivates grapes, apricots, almonds, plums, mulberry, pomegranate and cherry. Fruits are used for personal consumption, and in good production years, he sells table grapes and apricots in the market. The yiled of hay from naturally reborn grass on the site and in the inter-rows areas of a garden is ca. 0.2 t/ha. Prined grape branches are used as fuel.

Location: Fayzabad district .

Area of technology application: 15 ha.

Stage of intervention: rehabilitation / restoration of land degradation.

Main land use issues and the main causes of land degradation:

Overgrazing, low natural soil fertility, abrupt slopes cause an erosion and degradation of sloping land.

Main technical features of technology:

Improvement of soil cover, increase of nutritious elements and humus in soil, fertility increase, catching of surface runoff, erosion prevention.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Mixed land.

Agro-silvopastoralism: arable land, pasture land and trees - Са(Ma).

Agronomic measures:

A1: Vegetation / soil cover.

Vegetation measures:

В1: Coverage with trees and bushes.

Structural measures:

С1: Terraces (a slope with the terrace base

Management measures:

У1: Change of land use type .


Habitat Anthropogenic environment

Average annual rainfall: 750-1000 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 1000-1500 m.

Landscape: hillsides.

Slope (%): 16-30% (hilly).

Soil fertility: very low.

Humus content in arable horizon: <1%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: good.

Size of land area (ha): 15 hа.

Landholder: dehkhans.

Land ownership: state, lease, private.

Water use rights: -

Market orientation: Mixed farming (subsistence and commercial).


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- restoration of degraded sites, reduction of soil erosion;

- increase in productivity: good harvest of fruits, hay;

- increase in self-sufficiency.

Main disadvantages:

- water delivery for additional irrigation of a garden is labor-consuming;

- in general, the capacious labor is required.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: introduction was independent in all cases, there are signs of further distribution.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database. Technology code: T_TAJ004ru.

Compiled by: Murod Ergashev. Date: 17.01.2011.

Contact person: Murod Ergashev, Tajik institute of soil science. E-mail:

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

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

Tel.: +998 90 9945654, Email:




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