Salinity of land is one of the most important challenges for farms throughout the country. Salinity greatly reduces soil fertility and its potential for cultivation of any cultures. Accordingly, it reduces the chances of farmers to get profit. In this situation, farmers need to solve the problem of soil salinity. One of the ways is maintenance of qualitative drainage system. But this way is very expensive and, unfortunately, is not widely used by farmers due to lack of funds. Are there any other, less expensive, but effective ways to combat salinity? Of course, it is advisable not to bring up the lands to salinity. This can be done with the help of many practices. You can get acquainted with one of them on our site. But what can we do if the lands are already saline?
UNESCO in collaboration with ZEF (Bonn, Germany) and USU (Urgench State University, Uzbekistan) are conducting a joint project. Among other results, this project has conducted research on testing various alternative crops that can grow on saline lands of Khorezm region. These studies revealed that Indigofera legumes can quite successfully be cultivated in the Aral Sea area. Moreover, a new kind of this plant, called "Firuz-1, was fancied.
Indigofera, like all other legumes, is able to absorb atmospheric nitrogen and accumulate it in the soil, thus enriching it. In other words, this herb considerably improves the quality of the land. In addition, this crop is able to bring considerable profit to the farmers who produce it. It should be noted it is possible to get the "indigo" dye from this crop which is used for dyeing various textile products and for coloring pottery, this dye is widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
However, there are some problems for the widespread introduction of this crop.
For solving these problems, Farmers Association of Khorezm region, with the direct support of Urgench University and UNESCO, asked the GEF SGP for support. A project was formulated and is currently being carried out and going to achieve the following results:
Even now, any farmer who wants to grow indigo for the restoration of the land and for getting profit, can buy the seeds. Contact phone number for purchasing of seeds: + 998 90 650 22 46; + 998 94 650 22 46 (Abdi-Kadir Ergashev).
But we should also consider where they can sell the finished product - that is extract of indigo dye. It is necessary to determine who could be a potential buyer, how much dye is needed, what are the procedures for sale, etc. The project has originally targeted the European markets. According to preliminary data, the price of 1 kg of natural indigo dye on the European markets is 200-240 Euros. However, in the course of the project, this information was not confirmed. Currently, the project has plans to find potential buyers in the domestic market or in neighboring states.
Upon completion of this project component, we hope to provide all interested farmers with the information on where to sell, how much and at what price, and give all information about export procedures of sale. In other words, we want to alleviate the markets channels for the farmers as much as possible. Why? Because more farmers would want to grow this plant, which means more land will be restored. Upon completion of this work a training seminar will be held in Tashkent for all interested farmers. Information will be provided additionally on our website.
Cultivation of indigofera is a very cheap way for recovering (reclamation) lands. It is much cheaper than draining. There are many benefits from the cultivation of this plant: