Scientific research

Applying mulching for rainfed vineyards on terraces located on loessal hilly landscapes

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Covering of surface of terraces with a mowed grass prevents soil from erosion, preserves moisture, improves soil properties.

Brief summary of technology:

Terraces on land with a slope of 12° were established in 1968 in the Fayzabad district (Tajikistan) on the research station area of Institute of Soil Science, where previously there was a communal pasture. Bulldozers were used for preparation of the terraces, then they were plowed and local grapes varieties were planted (1300 trees per ha). Natural herbs grown in the research station were mown and used as mulch between vineyard rows. Later this activity was continued by farmers and the soil fertilized by this grass, improved over the period of last 10 years. The mulch layer prevents water erosion, raises organic matter contents in the soil and provides accumulation of soil moisture that is very important for rainfed land. An analysis on humus contents in the soils was conducted in 2011. Results showed that within 0-15 cm soil layer 1.3% of humus was accumulated under mulch, while only 0.4% in the uncovered soil.

Location: Fayzabad district.

Area of technology application:

Stage of intervention: prevention of land degradation.

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

Absence of adequate anti-erosion protection causes wind and water erosion, decrease of contents of biogenic  substances in the soil and its productivity.

Main technical features of technology:

Managing of dissipating surface runoff, improvement of surface cover, prevention of erosion, increase of a humus and nutritious elements, moisture preservation.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Mixed land.

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

Agronomic measures:

A1: Vegetation / soil cover.



Average annual rainfall: 500-750 mm.

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

Landscape: hillsides.

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

Soil fertility: moderate.

Humus content in arable horizon: 1-3% (moderate) and <1% (low).

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: low.

Anthropogenic environment

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

Landholder: small/middle sized, mixed.

Land ownership: state and lease.

Water use rights: -

Market orientation: subsistence farming (self sufficiency), free market.


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- creates protection of soil against degradation;

- very practical and easy-to-introduce in villages with grass plantations.

Main disadvantages:

- it is possible to apply the technology only on a small site as the grass in each household is used as a forage for cattle.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: Implemented independently by dekhkans on limited areas because of deficiency  of a grass.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database. Technology code T_TAJ105ru.

Compiled by: Shokirov Kobil. Date: 22.08.2011

Contact person: Kobil Shokirov, Swiss Program of the scientific research. NCCR North-South.

Address: 31, 131 quarter, Rudaki Ave., Dushanbe 734003, Tajikstan. Tel.: +992 90 435 0555.


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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