Scientific research

Technology of improvement of "hanging gardens" on foothill – low-hill slopes

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Applying fine earth deposits rich with silty fractions into the soil under gardens on hillsides improves fertility of stony soils and increases productivity of „hanging gardens“.

Brief summary of technology:

The essence of the method of root-zone soil amelioration consists of applying of fine earth deposits from the Isfara river during planting of the saplings, which contain many nutritious elements so necessary for growth and development of fruit and crops.

In early spring a pit with the size of 1х1 m is dug, filled with fine earth deposits mixed with over-rotted manure, and planting of saplings into it is conducted. The applied amount per pit is 100-200 kg of soil and 20 kg of over-rotted manure. To preserve moisture mulch is applied around the soil or barley is sown.

This technology is simple and does not demand high financial investments.

Cost of carrying out land amelioration of planting pits usually does not exceed 500-600 somoni per ha.

Location: H. Ajlo village, Isfara district, Sugd province.

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:

Lack of land and shortage of irrigation water, low natural fertility of sloping gray-brown stony soils, strong erosion, bad survival rate of saplings of fruit crops, low productivity.

Main technical features of technology:

Improvement of soil cover, increase of soil fertility.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Rainfed arable land.

Production of perennial (non-forest) crops - Вм(Cp).

Agronomic measures:

A2: Organic matter/ Soil fertility.



Average annual rainfall: 300-500 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 1800-1900 m.

Landscape: mountain and foothill slopes.

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

Soil fertility: low.

Humus content in arable horizon: low, <1.0%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: moderate.

Anthropogenic environment

Size of land area (ha):

Landholder: small scale.

Land ownership: individual and state.

Water use rights: -.

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


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- technology is simple in application, low cost;

- prevents erosion and leaching of nutritious elements from the soil;

- saves irrigation water by 3-5 times;

- increases crop productivity in the short period (3-4 years).

Main disadvantages:

- labor-consuming method;

- impossibility of use of machinery.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: The technology is applied in Tajikistan since 2001 in several farms in the area of 10 ha.

Reference(s): Traditional knowledge of the land use and water use. Information collection, Dushanbe, 2006. Published by non-governmental organization of the Republic of Tajikistan – “Fund of support of civil initiatives”, the member of the international network of NGO on coping against desertification (RIOD network) and the coordinator of RIOD network on implementation of KBO provisions in Tajikistan.

Contact information of “Fund of support of civil initiatives” NGO: 73a-19, Shotemur str., Dushanbe, 734002, Republic of  Tajikistan. Tel./Fax: +992 (37) 2215857. 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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