Published: September 2019
Last edited: September 2019
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Summary

Livestock plays an important role in Tajikistan and is part of the survival strategies of the rural population. Overgrazing, especially in the immediate vicinity of villages, places significant pressure on the estimated 3.5 million hectares of communal pasture lands and leads to serious land degradation and puts livelihood and food security at risk. There are extended areas of rainfed pasture land in Tajikistan with a high degree of biodiversity which are inherently rich of endemic species of plants. The positive effect of the fodder plants is that they create habitats and are a source of fodder for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Further on, the soil is protected from erosion. Most of these species flower when blossoming of fruit trees are already over, extending thereafter the fodder supply for pollinators. Finally, production of hay can reduce overgrazing of natural pastureland, especially in spring when the pastures are just sprouting. 

Classifications

Region
North and Central Asia
Scale of implementation
Local
National
Subnational
Ecosystem
Agro-ecosystem
Rangeland / Pasture
Theme
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Ecosystem services
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Land management
Restoration
Traditional knowledge
Challenges
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Erosion
Ecosystem loss
Lack of technical capacity
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 13 – Climate action
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience

Location

Tajikistan | Rasht Region

Challenges

Promoting improved fodder production faces the following challenges in Tajikistan:

  • Outdated maps of pastoral corridors;
  • Fencing extended areas is expensive and labor-intensive;
  • Labor-intense weed control measures on the fenced plots are needed to ensure strong and good quality fodder production;
  • Lack of fodder storage space and inadequate hay storage management can cause hay losses;
  • Storing seeds of local fodder varieties and herbaceous species for reproduction is not commonly practiced, which leads to non-availability of these seeds;
  • Community-based controlled grazing mechanisms are not yet widespread;
  • Absence of by-laws, regulating the enforcement of sustainable pasture management by a government-designated pasture agency

Beneficiaries

The solution addresses two groups of beneficiaries: 

  • Local pasture users and the nearby villages who depend on their livestock and pasture for their livelihoods;
  • People who trade and process livestock products as well as consumers.

How do the building blocks interact?

The described improved fodder production approach is based upon understanding landscapes as ecosystems comprising environmental, human, cultural, technological and institutional dimensions, amongst others.

The building blocks address the environmental and technological dimensions, but also the legal framework and the involved organizations and institutions have to be considered. Further, knowledge management and exchange are important to be facilitated throughout the implementation of an approach. 

Other dimensions, such as institutional development, cultural aspects, etc.  need  also to be addressed, however, for a successful implementation. These described building blocks are giving only a snapshot into the issues mostly focused on during the implementation. 

Impacts

 Sustainable fodder production, with an eye on plant diversity and the protection of endemic species, provides positive environmental, social as well as economic impacts.  

 

 Environmental Impact

  • Endemic varieties of plants are conserved;
  • Most of the fodder species flower after the blossoming of fruit trees, thereby extending the availability of nectar for pollinators;
  • Diversifying fodder plants also create habitats and provide nesting places;
  • Control or reduction of soil erosion by mitigating overgrazing in pastures;
  • The availability of fodder reduces the need for grazing in early spring, allowing time for natural regeneration.

Economic Impacts

  • Higher yield due to improved fodder production and relatively high prices for fodder in winter result in higher income;
  • Fodder plants offer simultaneously nectar for bees allowing for the expansion of beekeeping hereby generating additional income potential; 
  • Improved nutritional status of grazing livestock hence improving their value.

Social Impacts 

  • Introducing a pasture management planning system in a community strengthens social structures;
  • Empowering women by taking a formal role in pasture management, especially fodder production and storage, which can be done close to their home.

Story

WHH/Nigora Kholova

In Rasht valley, on over 1700 m.o.sl., Mr. Saidashraf Iskandarov has fenced a plot of one hectare in size to produce fodder for his own livestock as well as to be sold on the market. He stores the fodder over the winter in order to sell in the spring season, when prices for fodder are high.

He has received fencing material by the project and is currently planting a living fence along the mesh wire. The idea behind this is to replace the metal fence with the living fence over time. Where possible fencing material can be reused, however, in most cases the vegetation has grown to a fence when it would be just about time to replace the metal fence. On his hectare of land, Mr. Iskandarov has sown Esparcet, Alfa-Alfa, and Triticale. Further, he has moved four of his beehives to the fodder plot to ensure pollination and to produce honey. Honey is a valuable resource in Tajikistan that can easily be sold on the local markets.

This year Saidashraf Iskandarov has started to diversify his fodder plot and planted a variety of forest and fruit tree species on his plot. One can find Junipers, Pine, sea buckthorn, Apple, as well as Apricot growing alongside the metal fence.

Contributed by

Muybalikhon Jumakhonov Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH