Turkmenistan – FAO: New level of cooperation

Regional project “Integrated management of natural resources in the drought and salinization of agricultural production landscapes of Central Asia and Turkey” until 2021 is starting. It will be carried out by the State Committee for Natural Protection and Land Resources under support of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization and the Global Environmental Facility.

Cooperation of the state under this project will be built on integrated approach to the management of water and land resources including the principles of coordinated planning, work of the system of early notification about the drought, scientific developments to combat the desertification, stable agriculture, improvement of interdepartmental cooperation, generation of ecologically thought ideas of local communities. The ICARDA, an agency for development, which activity is aimed at the restoration of degraded lands, is among the potential partners of the project.

Ashgabat hosted two meetings from the beginning of the year, where priority objectives for the partners of the project representing the state authorities and scientific institutions, public organisations and entrepreneurship have been outlined.

It was mentioned that activities of the project are to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by Turkmenistan in three global ecological conventions – combating the desertification, biodiversity and climate change. Extension of the knowledge about stable management of natural resources will allow increasing the adaptation of agricultural production to the drought, preventing the consequences of soil salinization and desertification and protecting the biodiversity.

In our country, the project will be realized in three main territories, which are distinguished by soil and climate conditions and cover the parts of desert pastures, forests, irrigated and rain-fed lands.

Improvement of irrigation methods, enlarging of fruit gardens, planting f nut trees like pistachio and almond with further hand over to local communities will be carried out in Baherden etrap, Ahal Velayat. Activities for the improvement of irrigation of salinized lands are planned in Gurbansoltan-eje etrap, Dashoguz Velayat. Until the end of the year, the specialists of the project will study legal and financial aspects of opening of farming schools in northern region. Activities for support of livestock farming are starting in the Central Karakums. Water collection facilities and wells will be restored for irrigation of thepastures. Sources of water will be researched, mapping of pilot plots will be made and local traditions of agriculture will be studied.

Practical activities for development of alternative systems of life support at marginal limit of water use, protection of gene pool of agricultural crops, improvement of efficiency of livestock farming are planned.

The priorities of the project will be given to the developments of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna. Therefore, representatives of agrarian and academic sciences including experts in biotechnologies Candidate of Chemical Sciences Lyudmila Salvinskaya and biologist Maral Annanuriva, who told about successful water treatment experiment using the plant – water hyacinth, have been invited to the project. Turkmen specialists were introduced to the development of Kazakhstan Scientific and Research Institute of Land and Agricultural Chemistry, which allows receiving full yield without initial flushing of the fields and reduces twice the quantity of fertilizers.

The organizers informed that experience sharing visits are planned for the participants of the project – agricultural specialists, farming associations. Monitoring of the activities in our country and methodological provision of the project will be carried out by interdepartmental working group, which will include the specialists of the State Committee for Natural Protection and Land resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Management, Turkmengidromet and the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan.