Scientific research

Perennial herbaceous forage crops for pristine forest cover

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Cultivation of perennial herbs to improve unproductive arableland and as permanent crops to increase forage production.

Brief summary of technology:

Esparcet and alfalfa are cultivated in the abrupt slopes unsuitablefor production of annual crops, and in low-productive arable areasas green fertilizer. These crops can grow from 6 to 10 years without soil cultivation.

Both crops belong to the family of leguminous crops and are capable to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and thus to enrich the soil with nitrogen.

When crop productivity starts to decrease in 4-6 years after the beginning of cultivation, dehkhans compensate yield reduction by additional planting. Esparcet and alfalfa produce yield of hay twice a year (in case of an irrigation, 3-4 yields of hay).

Various examples show that these perennial fodder herbs can be cultivated at slopes steepness of 60%, but with bigger sowing of seeds for compensation of losses, which can arise due to washout of seeds downhill before they germinate. Esparcet and alfalfa fix soil surface by a powerful, well-developed root system and therefore are very effective in coping against soil erosion.

Location: Fayzabad district.

Area of technology application:

10 ha.

Stage of intervention: alleviation/reduction 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

Forests / forest land.

Natural forest: forest consisting of natural trees, not planted by human - Ле(Fn).

Agronomic measures:

A1: Vegetation / soil cover.

Environment

Habitat Anthropogenic environment

Average annual rainfall: 750-1000 mm.

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

Landscape: hillsides, intermountain valleys.

Slope (%): sloping (8-16%), hilly (16-30%).

Soil fertility: moderate.

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

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: good.

Size of land area (ha): 1-2, 2-5 ha.

Landholder: dehkhans.

Land ownership: state, lease, private.

Water use rights: -

Market orientation: Mixed farming (subsistence and commercial).

Assessment

Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- inexpensive, there are practically no works for plant caring;

- increased agricultural productivity of high quality forage;

- reduction of soil erosion by means of a complete soil cover all year round;

- there is no need for soil processing during 6-10 years.

Main disadvantages:

Acceptance/adoption of technology: There is a trend of increase of spontaneous implementation of the technology.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database. Technology code: T_TAJ009ru.

Compiled by: Erik Buhlmann, CDE Centre for Development and Environment. Date: 11.03. 2011.

Contact person: Volfgram Bettina, NCCR North-South, CDE University of Bern, Switzerland.

Е-mail:  bettina.wolfgramm@cde.unibe.ch

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

Emailtatyana_khamzina@mail.ru

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