Scientific research

Rotation of pastures in desert regions of Uzbekistan

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Improvement of the scheme of cattle grazing provides restoration of pastoral vegetation and observance of a normative load on pastures.

Brief summary of technology:

In Uzbekistan, pastureland is transferred to shirkats on an unlimited basis or to farms for a long-term rent. The population uses shirkat pastures for grazing of personal cattle, the number of which sometimes exceeds the number of a shirkat flock. The cattle is grazed in the same pastures all year round and degradation occurs because of an overgrazing and passage of cattle along the same routes.

Based on traditional approaches, the technology pursues the aim to mitigate the degradation of pastures and to create conditions for self-restoration of pasture vegetation. For this purpose, each flock of 800 heads is provided with two sources of drinking water.

The area of 7850 ha around a water source is divided into 2 sectors by diameter. Each sector is divided into 3 rotational sites.

Under the existing productivity of pastures, one sector provides 800 heads of sheep with sterns during 90 days, the entire spring period. In summer the flock is overtaken to the second sector, and in the autumn to the second water well where the sheep grazing on rotational sites is done in the same sequence: in the first sector in autumn, in the second in winter. The rotational grazing provides a planned rest and a chance to plants to replenish energy and growth.

Private owners unite adult animals by 120-150 heads and young animals by 150-200 heads for grazing in the pastures allocated with the consent of the commission of pasture users. The commission regulates relationship of cattle owners with shirkat and local authorities (khokimiyat), conducts monitoring and estimates feed capacity of the pastures. On the basis of monitoring results the possible number of cattle grazing is corrected every season with the purpose of prevention of overgrazing. In the initial stage the commission of pasture users functions according to the instructions of the Rural Gathering of Citizens, and later financing is provided at the expense of contributions of cattle owners.

Location: Bukhara province, Romitan district .

Area of technology application:

157 km2.

Stage of intervention: mitigation / reduction of land degradation.

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

Vulnerability of desert ecosystems caused by naturalclimatic factors, and irrational use of pastures, absence pasture rotation, all-year-round cattle pasture in the limited area without accounting for feed capacity of the pastures and permissible load, cause development of land degradation processes.

Main technical features of technology:

Improvement of land cover, increase of biodiversity.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Pasture land.

Extensive Pasture land - Пэ(Ge).

Management measures:

У2: Change of management/level of intensity.



Average annual rainfall: <250 mm.

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

Landscape: plains.

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

Soil fertility: low.

Humus content in arable horizon: <1%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: good.

Anthropogenic environment

Size of land area (ha): 100-5000 ha.

Landholder: shirkats and farms.

Land ownership: state; long term lease.

Water use rights: through WUAs.

Market orientation: Mixed farming (subsistence and commercial).


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- provides balance between requirements of local community of cattle-farmers and requirements of pastures for self-restoration;

- based on experience of local cattle-farmers, a local manpower is used - the shepherds owning the techniques of flock grazing according to rotation rules and available infrastructure - wells for drinking water;

- does not require very big investments in implementation and is easily adapted with support of local authorities;

- animals satisfy need for food, passing a shorter way that reduces energy consumption of both animals and shepherds;

- provides a gain of animal weight.

Main disadvantages:

- demands primary investments for restoration of wells of drinking water;

- insufficient level of awareness and knowledge about prime causes of land degradation and insufficient level of ecological education of the population;

- lack of knowledge to make a scheme of pasture rotation.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: The technology is developed by the Project entitled: “Achievement of ecosystem stability on degraded land in Karakalpakstan and the KyzylKum Desert” (UNDP-GEF and the Government of Uzbekistan) in 2008-2011. within the frame of CACILM. It is positively accepted by local population as it is directed towards the solution of problems of fodder balance for livestock in conditions of limited natural resources.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database. Technology code: T_UZB002ru.

Compiled by: T. Hamzina, CACILM MSEC Date: 02.09.2011.

Contact person: Irina Bekmirzayeva. Address: 21, Katartal str., 8 quarter, Chilanzar, 100113, Tashkent.

Tel.: +998 (71) 273 90 89. 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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