The GEF Small Grants Programme

in Uzbekistan

Project on laser leveling of the land in Khorezm

The irrigated agriculture plays an important role in the economy of Khorezm region providing employment to more than 60% of the local able-bodied population and it is the main source of revenue. Because of the continuing growth of the population in the region, the role of irrigated agriculture as the main source of food is vividly increasing but at the same time the pressure on existing water-land resources is also growing. However, a high level of salinity and swamping of lands, as well as lack of water which is being felt more and more sharply, are putting at threat the stability of the agriculture in the region. For example, according to the data of Food and Agricultural Organization, almost all irrigated lands in Khorezm are saline or are undergoing the process of secondary salinity as a result of mineral subsoil waters the level of which is rapidly reaching the surface of the soil. The high level of subsoil waters arises owing to flat slopes of the surface, high water transmissibility of sandy soil, but the main reason is irrational management of water resources. For example, the shortage of water in 1995, 2000-2001 and in 2008 have vividly shown that there is an urgent need of transfer from old, irrational methods of management of irrigated agriculture to new, innovative technologies, suitable for the conditions in Khorezm.

For providing stability and efficiency of the agriculture, modern and effective methods, applied all over the world, like laser (high-precision) leveling of lands along with water saving methods (like siphon or intermittent-flow irrigation) should be adapted and introduced in the local conditions.

This project is planning to accomplish demonstrative introduction of the above mentioned complex technologies in two demonstration plots, managed by the Water Users Associations (WUA). The suggested modern technologies will be shown both to the administration of WUA and to individual farmers who will use these technologies by themselves and pass on the experience to other farms. For these purposes the facility of WUA partners with 2 laser levelers and the equipment for feeding and metering water consumption are planned to be used. It is expected that using of these technologies will become widespread among the agricultural producers of the region and their continued use will lead to significant reduction, and at the same time to high efficiency in use of available water resources, sustainable increase of land productivity and crop yields, and, consequently, to improvement of living conditions of rural population.
More specifically, the project has three clear objectives:

Objective 1: To prepare and complete the technical equipment for laser land levelling.

Objective 2: To show the advantages of laser land leveling and alternative methods of irrigation inn the demonstration plots of the two Water Users Associations (WUAs).

Objective 3: To teach the proper performance of laser land leveling to the farmers, and the ways of reducing the consumption of irrigation water for their further independent use of this technology.

download project proposal (in Russian)

download brochure on laser leveling in Russian

download brochure on laser leveling in Uzbek

The project was submitted by non –government non-profit organization KRASS. Established with the support of ZEF, Center for Research of Development, Germany, in November 2008 by an initiative group of experts in the field of agriculture (researchers, practitioners and teachers), the KRASS center is collaborating with government, local and international organizations, NGOs in order to support agricultural reforms and development.

The main objective of KRASS is to contribute to the improvement of living conditions, gain of welfare and ensuring long-term food security and environmental sustainability in rural areas of Uzbekistan by way of providing support services for the agricultural sector. KRASS engages qualified specialists for search and distribution of innovations that will contribute to the development of agriculture, efficient use of available resources and sustainable land and water use. KRASS pays special attention to training of rural youth for improving their knowledge, skills, employment and a desire for development.

More information about NGO KRASS you can find on their website

Project results:

Technical features, advantages and the principle of work of new non-traditional innovation technology are presented in Instruction. This technology provides land planning with a help of laser installation, its technical parts and a process of introduction it in practical use.

All organizations which are related to the agriculture sector, including water users' associations, farms' associations, scientists of agricultural institutes, research institutes can use this Instruction in fields and for research aims

Download instruction (in russian)