CGIAR Research Program "Dryland Systems"

Improve the productivity of marginal lands in irrigated farming and pastoral systems


Improving agricultural production under saline conditions with minimal trade-offs within the Aral Sea Basin, applying a agro-pastoral and irrigated mixed farming systems approach

Geographical Location (s) including the Action Sites:

Aral Sea Region (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan)


Gender dimension:

Changes in farming system usually affect the labor load, or labor division within families. Each potential intervention or introduction will be linked to these labor loads and labor divisions. At the same time, decision making at farm level has a gender aspect (who makes the decision and what aspects are considered for this decision). The decision making process for new introductions will be considered in the on-farm salinity management processes.

The salinity management activities in CRP Dryland Systems are linked with the salinity activity cluster within CRP WLE. This linkage is needed due to the different scales that the activities take place. Whereas the CRP DS activities focus on the field level, CRP WLE focuses on the regional, landscape and basin level. This brings together the planning and implementation of activities at different levels by different actors. While the focus of activities within DS is on farmers and farm communities, the focus of activities within WLE is on regional managers, decision and policy makers. Since activities at field level should fit in the larger regional vision, policies and objectives, and regional policies should be applicable to field conditions, the linkages between the activities at CRP DS and CRP WLE are mandatory.

Research Outputs:

(i) Information booklet describing current farm and salinity management practices on high producing agricultural and marginal lands in the series of "Ideas books for salinity management". One booklet with 8 stories.

(ii) Inventory and classification of agricultural production systems and marginal lands associated with different natural resources management scenarios. One dataset for the Aral Sea Basin.

(iii) Networking with national partners and policy makers to develop a basis for institutional support for long-term salinity management strategies. A contact list of implementation partners, policy makers will be established; at least 30 personal contacts for at least 10 institutions.

(iv) Development of field-based management strategies within the broader regional salinity management strategy will be developed in cooperation with the CRP WLE. A document with “research for development” vision for Aral Sea Basin.

(v) Gender aggregated labor distribution and decision making processes for communities in salt affected agricultural production systems and marginal lands. A document with findings will be made available.

Research Outcomes:

livestock feeding. One book on utilization of perennial fodder shrubs for pastures improvement and livestock profduction

(ii) Increased knowledge and inter linkage between regional salinity management and field based interventions in high producing and marginal lands.

(iii) Improved interaction between CRP Dryland Systems research and policy makers in the region related to salinity management.

(iv) Improved gender aggregated data for communities living in the Aral Sea Basin and expected impact of interventions on salinity management and marginal lands.