Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering | Book | Published 2021

Soil Degradation Problems and Foreseen Solutions in Uzbekistan

Keywords: Climate change · Soil erosion · Salinity · Aral Sea · Policy and technical responses

Abstract

Soil erosion and salinity are long-standing afflictions of Uzbekistan. Regional climate change, already evident, is likely to exacerbate droughts and high summer temperatures; the future rainfall regime is unknown. All these hazards will increase the risk of land degradation. The Aral Sea has been declared a zone of environmental innovation and technology but, beyond sowing halophytes in its dry bed, we are a long way from restoration. New and different ways have to be found to combat these challenges including science-based crop rotation taking into account soil characteristics; sustainable farming systems adapted to the harsh landscape; widespread adoption of agro-ecotechnology, biotechnology and information technology in soil conservation and land use planning; and effective ways to combat salinization, erosion, depletion of soil organic matter, and compaction. All need a sound theoretical base. Innovations under trial include soil improvement with a range of vegetable crops and legumes, application of various composts including worm compost from household waste and biogas production residue, microbiological preparations, and systematic reclamation of gypsum soils.

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