Improving water and land productivity of marginal farms in Central Asia: lessons from the "bright spots".
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Abdullaev, I.; Noble, Andrew; Ul Hassan, M.; Platonov, Alexander. 2011. Improving water and land productivity of marginal farms in Central Asia: lessons from the "bright spots". In ICID. 21st Congress on Irrigation and Drainage: Water Productivity towards Food Security, Tehran, Iran, 15-23 October 2011. New Delhi, India: ICID. pp.11-36.
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Land degradation of agricultural areas in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, specifically due to soil salinization, has resulted in significant declines in agricultural productivity. This study builds upon previous limited work on 'Bright Spots' by focusing on specific farming enterprises in the two target countries. The objective of this study was to identify factors that contributed to the enhanced performance of 'Bright Spots' in each of the target countries and based on this evaluation assess possible options for expansion and out-scaling of 'Bright Spots' to larger areas. The analysis confirms that while the resource endowment in terms of quality of land was almost identical for both the 'Bright Spots' and Control objects studied, the performance of the former was superior with respect to productivity and profitability. An analysis of biophysical and economic indicators of 'Bright Spot' farms in Uzbekistan indicated that the profitability of cotton production was predominantly dependent on inputs to the production system that had a significant impact on groundwater depth below the soil surface. In order to out-scale 'Bright Spots' innovative approaches in addressing existing knowledge gaps that link the products of research, and in this case 'induce innovation', with the majority of beneficiaries are required. This may take the form of creating linkages between farmers, researchers and markets through the formation of learning alliances. In addition, the development of enabling policies that address issues related to inequitable access to land and resources that would enable farmers to invest in rehabilitation is required. The provision of incentives which trigger private investment in rehabilitation would potentially stimulate individuals into addressing resource degradation. This would require access to financial instruments to enable investment to take place.
In ICID. 21st Congress on Irrigation and Drainage: Water Productivity towards Food Security, Tehran, Iran, 15-23 October 2011. New Delhi, India: ICID