Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Conservation Agriculture for combating land degradation in Central Asia: a synthesis

1 International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) Central Asia and the Caucasus Regional Office, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
2 School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, United Kingdom
3 South-Western Research Institute of Livestock and Crop Production, Chimkent, Kazakhstan
4 Kashkadarya Research Institute of Breeding and Seed Production of Cereals, Karshi, Uzbekistan
5 Center for Development Research, Bonn, Germany

Special Editions: Sustainable Crop Production Intensification

This manuscript reviews scientific findings on agricultural systems, associated land degradation and selected remedies such as Conservation Agricultural (CA) practices to counterbalance these. In particular, this review addresses the research findings onCA practices conducted in the rainfed and irrigated systems in Central Asia. The arid and semi-arid croplands in this region are vulnerable to different types of soil and environmental degradation, and particularly to degradation caused by intensive tillage, irrigation water mismanagement, and cropping practices, especially in the Aral Sea Basin. Overall, the evidence shows that various CA elements, such as permanent beds, seems to be technically suitable for the major cropping systems and despite the heterogeneous conditions in the region. CA practices can contribute to combating on-going land degradation. No-till seeding along with the maintenance of a permanent soil coverage e.g. by residue retention, reduces wind and water erosion, increases water infiltration and storage which can reduce crop water stress, improve soil quality and increase soil organic matter. Further, CA practices can lead to similar or even higher crop yields while reducing production resource needs and costs considerably, including fuel, seeds, agrochemicals, water and labour. Nevertheless, the growing research evidence on the productivity, economic and environmental benefits that can be harnessed with CA, still is from a limited number of studies and hence more research at local scale is needed.
  Article Metrics


1. Mikhalev V, Reimov A. Land Degradation in Central Asia. 2008. Available from: http://www.developmentandtransition.net/

2. Pender J, Mirzabaev A, Kato E (2010) Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land Management Multicountry Partnership Framework Support Project: Economic Analysis of Sustainable Land Management Options in Central Asia. Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines.169.

3. Qushimov B, Rustamova IM, Haitov B(2007) Land degradation by agricultural activities in Central Asia. In: Rattan Lal et al. (Eds.). Climate change and terrestrial carbon sequestration in Central Asia.Taylor & Francis, London.

4. De Pauw E(2008) ICARDA regional GIS datasets for Central Asia: Explanatory notes. GIS Unit Technical Bulletin. International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

5. Nurbekov A, Akramkhanov A, Lamers J, et al.(2013) Conservation Agriculture in Central Asia. In: Jat RA, Sahrawat KL, Kassam AH (Eds.).Conservation Agriculture: Global Prospects and Challenges,Wallingford:CABI, 223-247.

6. Kazakhstan State committee on Statistics. 2015. Available from:http://www.stat.gov.kz/faces/wcnav_externalId/publicationsPage?_afrLoop=30154916533175647#%40%3F_afrLoop%3D30154916533175647%26_adf.ctrl-state%3D5am21wla0_70

7. Kyrgyzstan State Agency. Statistical Yearbook of the Kyrgyz Republic. 2016. Available from: http://www.stat.kg/en/publications/statisticheskij-ezhegodnik-kyrgyzskoj-respubliki/

8. Tajikistan Statistical Committee. Tajikistan in Figures. 2015. Available from: http://www.stat.tj/en/img/695c206e2b1ce86f333f33fdc268a469_1439617381.pdf

9. Turkmenistan State Agency on statistics. 2015. Available from: http://www.stat.gov.tm/assets/plan/stat_work_2016_ru.pdf

10. The State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on statistics (2015) "O'zbekiston raqamlarda". Tashkent. 211.

11. Gupta R, Kienzler K, Martius C, Mirzabaev A, et al. (2009) Research Prospectus: A Vision for Sustainable Land Management Research in Central Asia. ICARDA Central Asia and Caucasus Program. Sustainable Agriculture in Central Asia and the Caucasus Series 1. CGIAR-PFU. Tashkent. Uzbekistan, 84.

12. Bekturova G, Romanova O (2007) Traditional Land Management Knowledge in Central Asia: Resource pack. Almaty: S-Print. 2007, 86.

13. Islamic Research and Information Center. 2006. Available from:http://www.iric.org

14. Karabayev M (2008) Improvement of soil and water management in Kazakhstan: Conservation Agriculture for wheat production and crop diversification. In: Proceedings of the International Technical Workshop on Investing in Sustainable Crop Intensification: The Case for Improving Soil Health. 22-24 July 2008. Integrated Crop Management Vol. 6. FAO, Rome.

15. Fileccia T (2009) Conservation Agriculture and Food Security in Kazakhstan. Working Paper. FAO Investment Centre, Rome.

16. Kassam AH, Friedrich T, Derpsch R, et al.(2012)Conservation Agriculture in the dry Mediterranean climate. Field Crops Res 132: 7-17.

17. Kassam AH, Friedrich T, Shaxson F, et al.(2009) The spread of conservation agriculture: justification. sustainability and uptake. Int J Agric Sust 7: 292-320.

18. González-Sánchez EJ, Veroz-González O, Blanco-Roldan GL, et al. (2015) A renewed view of conservation agriculture and its evolution over the last decade in Spain. Soil Till Res 146: 204-212.    

19. Cerdà A. Lessons and experience of soil conservation in Spain. 2004. Available from: http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/projects/scape/CT_book.pdf

20. González-Sánchez EJ, Ordónez-Fernández R, Carbonell-Bojollo R, et al.(2012)Meta-analysis on atmospheric carbon capture in Spain through the use of conservation agriculture. Soil Till Res 122: 52-60.

21. Friedrich T, Derpsch R, Kassam AH (2012) Global overview of the spread of Conservation Agriculture. Field Actions Science Reports Special Issue (Reconciling Poverty Alleviation and Protection of the Environment) 6: 1-7.

22. Kassam AH, Friedrich T, Derpsch R, et al. (2014) Worldwide adoption of Conservation Agriculture. 6th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture. 22-17 June 2014, Winnipeg, Canada.

23. Lal R (1997) Residue management. conservation tillage and soil restoration for mitigating greenhouse effect by CO2-enrichment.Soil Till Res 43: 81-107.

24. Lal R (2004) Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science 304: 1623-1627.    

25. Sorrenson WJ (1997) Financial and economic implications of no-tillage and crop rotations compared to conventional cropping systems. TCI Occasional Paper Series No.9. Rome. FAO.

26. Sorrenson WJ, Lopez-Portillo J, Nuñez M (1997) The economics of no-tillage and crop rotations in Paraguay. Policy and investment implications. FAO, Final Report to the MAG/GTZ Soil Conservation Project. 215.

27. Derpsch R (2003) Conservation tillage. no-tillage and related technologies. In: Garcia-Torres L, Benites J, Martinez-Vilela A, Holgado-Cabrera A (Eds.). Conservation Agriculture: Environment, Farmers Experiences, Innovations, Socio-Economy, Policy. Springer. Netherlands. 181-191.

28. Hobbs P (2007) Conservation agriculture: what is it and why is it important for future sustainable food production? J Agric Sci145: 127-137.

29. Friedrich T, Kassam AH (2009) Adoption of Conservation Technologies: constraints and opportunities. In: Proceedings of the 4th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture: Innovations for Improving Efficiency, Equity and Environment. 4-7 February 2009. New Delhi. India.

30. Kassam AH, Friedrich T, Derpsch R: (2010) Conservation Agriculture in the 21st Century: a paradigm of sustainable agriculture. In; Proceedings of the European Congress on Conservation Agriculture. 6-8 October 2010. Madrid. Spain.

31. FAO (2011) Save and Grow. FAO, Rome, 99.

32. The Montpellier Panel (2013) Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture. London.

33. Larson WE (1979) Crop residues: Energy production or erosion control? J Soil Water Conserv34: 74-76.

34. HargroveWL(1991) Crop residue management in the Southeast. Crop Residue Management forConservation. Lexington. KY. Soil and Water Conservation Society.

35. Derpsche R (1999) May 28 Frontiers in conservation agriculture and advances in conservation practice. West Lafayette. USA.

36. Hagen LJ(1996)Crop residue effects on Aerodynamic processes and wind erosion.Theor Appl Climatol 54:39-46.

37. Hernanz JL, Lopez R, Navarrete L, et al.(2002)Long-term effects oftillage systems and rotations on soil structual stability and organic carbonstratification in semiarid central Spain. Soil Till Res 66: 129-141.

38. Egamberdiev OJ (2007) Dynamics of irrigated alluvial meadow soil properties under the influence of resource saving and soil protective technologies in the Khorezm region. PhD dissertation. National University of Uzbekistan. Tashkent (in Uzbek).

39. Pulatov A, Egamberdiev O, Karimov A, et al. (2012) Introducing conservation agriculture on irrigated meadow alluvial soils (Arenosols) in Khorezm. Uzbekistan. In: Martius C, Rudenko I, Lamers JPA, Vlek PLG (Eds.) Cotton. Water. Salts and Soums – Economic and Ecological Restructuring in Khorezm. Uzbekistan. Springer. Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York.195-217.

40. Nurbekov A, Suleymenov M, Friedrich T, et al.(2012) Effect of tillage methods on productivity of winter wheat in the Aral Sea Basin of Uzbekistan. J Arid Land Stud22: 255-258.

41. Nurbekov A (2007) Final report: Sustainable agricultural practices in the drought affected region of Karakalpakstan (Phase II). FAO/TCP/3102 (A). ICARDA-CAC.

42. Ibragimov N, Evett S, Essenbekov Y, et al.(2011) Permanent beds versus conventional tillage in irrigated Central Asia. Agron J 103: 1002-1011.

43. Akramkhanov A, Kuziev R, Sommer R, et al. (2012) Soils and soil ecology in Khorezm. In: Martius C, Rudenko I, Lamers JPA, Vlek PLG (eds.) Cotton. Water. Salts and Soums – Economic and Ecological Restructuring in Khorezm. Uzbekistan. Springer. Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York, 37-58.

44. Tischbein B, Awan UK, Abdullaev I, et al. (2012) Water management in Khorezm: current situation and options for improvement (hydrological perspective). In: Martius C, Rudenko I, Lamers JPA, Vlek PLG (eds.) Cotton. Water. Salts and Soums – Economic and Ecological Restructuring in Khorezm. Uzbekistan. Springer. Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York. 69-92.

45. Bezborodov GA, Shadmanov DK, Mirhashimov RT, et al.(2010) Mulching and water quality effects on soil salinity and sodicity dynamics and cotton productivity in Central Asia. Agric Ecosyst Environ138: 95-102.

46. Brady NC, Well RR (2008) The Nature and Properties of Soils. 14th (ed.). Pearson-Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River. NJ. 960 pp.

47. Skidmore EL, Kumar M, Larson WE (1979) Crop residue management for wind erosion control in the Great Plains. J Soil Water Conserv 34: 90-04.

48. Reicosky DC (2007) Conservation agriculture: Environmental benefits of reduced tillage and soil carbon management in water-limited areas of Central Asia. In: Lal R, et al. (eds) Climate change and terrestrial carbon sequestration in Central Asia. New York, Taylor & Francis.199-211.

49. Darby GM (1985) Conservation tillage: An importantadaptable tool for soil and water conservation. In: ElSwaify SA, Moldenhauer WC, Lo A (eds.) Soil Erosion and Conservation. Soil Conservation Society of America. Ankeny. IA,649-653.

50. Karabayev M, Wall P, Sayre K, et al. (2012) Conservation agriculture adoption in Kazakhstan: History, Status and Outlooks. CIMMYT Report.

51. Angas P, Lampurlanés J, Cantero-Martínez C(2006) Tillage and N fertilization Effects on N dynamics and Barley yield under semiarid Mediterranean conditions. Soil Till Res 87: 59-71.

52. Tursunov M (2009) Potential of conservation agriculture for irrigated cotton and winter wheat production in Khorezm. Aral Sea Basin. PhD dissertation. ZEF/Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. Germany. de/diss_online elektronisch publiziert.

53. Richard WH (1999) Lessons learned in developing and implementing minimum tillage technology with farmers in Northern Kazakhstan.In: Karabayev M, et al. (eds), Conservation Tillage: A Viable Option/or Sustainable Agriculture in Central Asia.59-62.

54. Pozharskiy VM, Akimaliev J (2002) Bed-planting winter wheat in Chu valley of the Kyrgyz Republic.International Workshop on Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Wheat Production in Rotation with Cotton in Limited Water Resource Areas, 14 -18 October., Tashkent. -Uzbekistan.123-126 (in Russian).

55. Ospanbaev J, Karabayev MK, (2009) Outlook for not-till technologies of crop growing in South and Southeast Kazakhstan. In: Suleymenov M, Kaskarbayev JA, Skoblikov VF, et al. (Eds.) No-till With Soil Cover and Crop Rotation: A Basis for Policy Support to Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Production Intensification. Astana-Shortandy. Kazakhstan.195-199 (in Russian).

56. Rashidov KA (2006) Produktivnost' perspektivnykh sortov pshenitsy pri grebnevom poseve v usloviyakh Tadzhikistana. In: Rashidov KA, Mumindzhanov KHA., Makhmadorov UM (Eds.) Materialy vtoroy Tsentral'no-Aziatskoy konferentsii po zernovym kul'turam. Bishkek P. 240 (in Russian).

57. SydykDS, JarasovSh, SydykovMA, et al. (2008)Rekomendatsii po Resursosberegauyshey Technologii Vozdelyvaniya Zernovykh Kolosovykh Kultur v Usloviyakh Bogarnogo i Oroshaemogo Zemledeliya Yujnogo Kazakhstana.Jebe-Disayin. Shymkent. Kazakhstan. 76. (in Russian).

58. Sanginov S, Khakimov A (2003) Planting winter wheat to growing cotton. In: Proceedings of the First Central Asian Wheat Conference. Almaty. Kazakhstan.

59. Qilichev AH, Khalilov N (2008) Go'za qator oralariga ekilgan kuzgi bugdoy hosidorligi va don sifati. Journal AGRO-ILM 2, 163-168 (in Uzbek).

60. Kienzler KM, Lamers JPA, McDonald A, et al.(2012) Conservation agriculture in Central Asia – What do we know and where do we go from here? Field Crops Res 132: 95-105.

Copyright Info: © 2016, A. Nurbekov, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved