Scientific research

Forest shelterbelts from oleaster (Elaeagnus) to protect irrigated fields

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Strips from oleaster plantations serve as protection of irrigated land against strong winds.

Brief summary of technology:

Strong winds blowing in the Shaartuz region erode topsoil layer, which settles in the neighboring fields in the form of deposits.

Sandy storms damage not only crops, they fill up the irrigation canals, roads, gardens and streets in rural areas. The solution of this problem is planting of protective forest belts around fields to decrease wind speed and prevention of an erosion of an arable soil layer. In Soviet period, protective strips were planted in collective farms by the state forestry enterprises based on contracts. After disintegration of the USSR and before the establishment of dekhkan farms, the land users were not interested in investment into establishment of protective strips.

In 1992, a dekhkan together with the son, the graduate of agricultural institute, initiated planting of a protective strip from various tree species. In 2010, the UNDP project rendered assistance to them by providing saplings for expansion of the protective strip area. Oleaster was considered as the best species for the organization of forest shelterbelt as it is salt tolerant, growing on saline land. This tree reaches height of 12 m in 10-12 years and provides protection of a field against strong winds. Besides, the oleaster has nitrogen-fixing capacity and enriches the soil with nitrogen, improves soil fertility. The trees fructify, are a fuel material for households.

Plantations consist of three rows along the border of a site and irrigation canals (distance between trees is 1 m, between rows 6 m). 30 people participated in planting activities by a “hashar” method (the voluntary neighbour's help). 10 000 pieces of saplings were planted within a month. During the first three years saplings were looked after, regularly irrigated, sanitary processing carried out. One of problems of establishing of protective strips is an organization of protection from damages by animals and from cutting by local population.

11 dekhkan farms were involved in the project; planting of protective strips proceeded within two years (2009-2010).

Location: Shaartuz, Hatlon.

Area of technology application: 9 ha.

Stage of intervention: alleviation / reduction of land degradation; rehabilitation / improvement of bare land.

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

Strong wind activity and lack of the relevant activities are the causes of soil erosion and decrease of fertility.

Main technical features of technology:

Soil stabilization, reduction of wind speed.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Mixed land.

Agroforestry - arable land and trees - Сл(Mf).

Vegetation measures:

В1: Coverage with trees and bushes.


Habitat Anthropogenic environment

Average annual rainfall:

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

Landscape: plain.

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

Soil fertility: very low.

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

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: good.

Size of land area (ha): 9 ha.

Landholder: individuals/ households, average land users, ordinary / average land users.

Land ownership: individual with the ownership rights.

Water use rights: -

Market orientation: Mixed farming (subsistence and commercial).


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- Oleander is tolerant to drought and is able to survive in soils with the low nutrient contents;

- provides edible fruits, vitamin-rich;

- increase of soil productivity.

Main disadvantages:

- forest belts should be protected from damages by local population which use forest as fuel.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: There is a growth tendency.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database . Code of technology: TAJ110r.

Compiled by: Fayzulloyev Firdavs, UNDP Tajikistan. Date: 15.04.2011.

Contact person: Fayzulloyev Firdavs, UNDP, Regional manager.

Address: Shaartuz office, Ziodaliyev str. 2, Shaartuz, Tajikistan.

Tel.: +992-918 79 52 78. 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





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