Use of Non-Conventional Agricultural Water & Land Resources to Strengthen Water & Food Sec

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Kristina Toderich, The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture for Central Asia and Caucasus (ICBA-CAC), Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Watersheds of major Central Asian (CA) Rivers are facing food security challenges to feed the growing population while increasing competition over natural resources.

Our research activity aimed at studying effective management of marginal (low quality) land and water, production of non-conventional crops (NCC) as forage for livestock and other alternative use. Soil and water data from target sites in addition to satellite imageries and GIS tools is integrated with plant performance characteristics to identify potential areas for developing renewable resources, and also to quantify the potential bio-energy with reference to land characteristics.  

The Interdisciplinary Research Team conducting the activity believes that research should move away from linear approaches of technology development and dissemination, by applying participatory approaches to address priority needs of rural communities and household farms. In line with this approach, a series of field training seminars titled "Alternative forage crops for animal feeding in winter" was organized. The training seminars familiarized farmers, including women farmers, with new forage crops (about 16 cultivars and improved lines originating from ICBA germplasm). A “Rural Women Learning Alliance”, the first of its kind to work with women farmers who are positively inclined to diversify their household incomes was established.