Facilitation of micro-watershed management for farmers [Tajikistan]

Фасилитасияи амалиётхои дехкон барои идораи микрохавза

approaches_2443 - Tajikistan

Completeness: 94%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Bronkal Daniel


Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Deutsche Welthungerhilfe - Tajikistan

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

Relying on integrated watershed management principles, farmers were assisted by the project to implement soil and water conservation measures in a microwatershed.

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: To strengthen the capacity of the community to plan and implement integrated natural resource management approaches, at micro watershed level in sustainable ways. These include; conserving soil by introducing actions to rehabilitate the eroded land, stop gully formation resulting from water run-off; enable water retention to secure soil moisture for a longer time period; mitigate effects of overstocking resulting in overgrazing; hoof erosion and soil compaction; reverse inappropriate agriculture practices towards more efficient and environmentally friendly management types; enable better employment and higher income generation to improve the livelihood standards and food security.

Methods: The project facilitated the following activities: Farmer participation, and using their initiative, community involvement in the planning, fundraising and implementation. Farmers increased their own contribution for material inputs, and a greater than 50% rate of adoption of the innovation was seen. The project also funded 'on the job' training, technical support, consultancy, and mediation of communication between parties.

Stages of implementation: 1. Awareness raising, 2. On the job training, 3. Watershed management activity planning, 4. Implementation, 5. Monitoring, 6. Evaluation, 7. Readjustment based on results, 8. Further replication in new area

Role of stakeholders: The DWHH Project had a leading role in initiation, orientation, awareness raising, mobilisation, training, consultancy, input provision and mediation of communication to land committee. Farmers have been actively participating, have provided labour input / financial contribution, provided indigenous knowledge and skills. Local authorities - providing land titles, participation in planning and decision making process Village Development Committee (VDC) - community mobilisation, information dissemination, input / finance documentation, fund raising.

Other important information: There are 5 households in the microwatershed. Almost 40 people live in all HH, all are Tajiks. Members of all households took part in discussion rounds and training. Non of HHs were strong enough to implement measures on own funds. One HH has rejected implementation of measures, due lack of capacity and lack of trust of the project's success. Women: farmers came to the discussions together with their wives, women took part in training, in implementing almost all of the adoption measures, and equally benefited from the project. However, they were not involved in decision making.

2.3 Photos of the Approach

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied



Region/ State/ Province:

Tajikistan, Khatlon

Further specification of location:

Baljuvon / Khirob

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:


Year of termination (if Approach is no longer applied):


2.7 Type of Approach

  • recent local initiative/ innovative

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused mainly on SLM with other activities ( land use change, resource conservation, capacity building, focus on low cost local material, income generation, on the job training)

To assist farmers in the planning and implementation of activities for the conservation and improvement of the local land, to enable conditions for replication of the approach/technology, and to improve food production, and in the long run provide income generation.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: Lack of land tenure rights implementation. Nominal state farm reorganisation. Low agricultural production - lands depleted of nutrients, very low yields, no crop rotation, overgrazing. Soil degradation, progressing land mass transport, gully formation. Lack of technical knowledge and awareness of soil & water conservation measures. Lack of cash to invest in development of land - just limited capacity to invest but need external financial input. Conflict over land use - livestock owners are against land enclosures. Poverty - underlying cause of general lack of potential to invest in development.

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • hindering

Technology implementation has required a major investment for imported materials, like a metal net for fencing or fuel. Most farmers could not afford themselves to buy costly inputs. Moreover such inputs were rarely available on the local market.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: The INGO covered the costs of 50% of each action, here mainly higher price inputs were paid off. The low-cost approach fits the financial capacity of the target group.

institutional setting
  • hindering

Capacities of communities and local authorities to jointly plan and implement SLM activities at micro-watershed level was weak.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Knowledge improved on the complex interrelations in natural ecosystems (farmers and staff of local authorities). Project cooperation was not limited to those interested, there was inclusion of gov. structures (agriculture, land committee, ecology) committ

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • enabling

The existing land ownership, land use rights / water rights moderately helped the approach implementation: On going legislative development in land tenure and farming provides good opportunities for implementation of the approach. But, ongoing nominal farm reorganisation and corruption at the local level, together with farmers reduced awareness of their land use rights requires more effort, time and funds in the application of SLM approaches. In this situation, DWHH has a good reputation in the district administration and with locals and so this helped overcome many barriers more easily.

  • hindering

Implementing the land tenure law and the privatisation of state farms is still a difficult process with many inconsistencies for people claiming a land title in the area.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: There are a few instances where the project was able to support farmers in getting land-titles to degraded land plots which they then had to rehabilitate using SLM technologies.

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • hindering

Treatment through the SLM Approach:

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Village Development Committee, farmers

Men have played bigger role in the organisation of activities, in the implementation of more manual work, whereas, women took part in the lighter work and in routine maintenance.

Most of the participating households live below the poverty line.

Farmers joined under one microwatershed approach, male (wife assisted), middle age, Tajiks, rural middle class.

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers

Project TAJ1068 staff, and an international consultant

  • NGO

Deutsche Welthungerhilfe

  • local government

Subdistrict, District Heads, Agriculture, Land committees, Forestry department

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation interactive farmers meeting through VDC, orientation explaining goals, objectives, advertising in the local news paper, information boards in 6 watersheds
planning interactive on site planning with farmers
implementation interactive training on the job, material input and labour provision, cross visits
monitoring/ evaluation interactive data input, open to monitoring, communication on ongoing activities, collaboration while monitoring and evaluation
Research interactive collaboration in the test for Acacia seed germination on the plot

3.3 Flow chart (if available)


Flow chart depicts the major actors involved during implementation of the approach. The relationship between stakeholders and primary functions is described as well.


Manuchehr Rakhmatdzhonov (16, Firdavsi Street 734003, Dushanbe)

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • mainly SLM specialists, following consultation with land users

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by mainly by SLM specialists with consultation of land users. Focused on principles of farmer participation, self motivation and self help.

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?


Specify who was trained:
  • land users
  • field staff/ advisers
  • local land and agriculture departments, village development committee
If relevant, specify gender, age, status, ethnicity, etc.

Land users: 5 men, 5 women, 30 to 50 years old, all Tajiks, all families.

Form of training:
  • on-the-job
  • demonstration areas
  • public meetings
Subjects covered:

Use of the A-frame, watershed model, tree planting in contour ditches, intercropping

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?


Specify whether advisory service is provided:
  • on land users' fields
Describe/ comments:

A chain of meetings with international consultants from India and Nepal: Key elements: consultation on watershed concepts and watershed choice, capacity building in strategy design , draft development plan for watershed management

The consultants were : Yashvant Tkhakur, India; Jaganat Joschi, Nepal

Advisory service is inadequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities; the govenment branches need more development and organisation to become able to manage land conservation activities; an independent advisory service is not in place, the only potential still exists within the DWHH Project

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, a little
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
Specify type of support:
  • capacity building/ training
Give further details:

Village development committee (VDC), use of locally available resources, focus on low cost

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?



area treated aspects were ad hoc monitored by land users through observations; indicators: space used for technology

economic / production aspects were regular monitored by project staff through measurements; indicators: fodder produced cent/ha, vegetables

socio-cultural aspects were ad hoc monitored by project staff through observations; indicators: labour availability, health status

technical aspects were ad hoc monitored by project staff through observations; indicators: tree planting

bio-physical aspects were ad hoc monitored by project staff through observations; indicators: soil degradation, gully formation

no. of land users involved aspects were ad hoc monitored by project staff through observations; indicators: monthly trends, how hardworking they were, gender

management of Approach aspects were ad hoc monitored by land users through observations; indicators: technology adaptation based on own experience

There were no changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: None

There were few changes in the Technology as a result of monitoring and evaluation: Change of the design - adjustment of the contour boundary based on experience on the plot; Adjusting of tree planting in contour ditches according to the topography

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?


Specify topics:
  • technology
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

Tests were completed on the germination of Acacia seeds in two different setups: on the demo plot of the project and on the farmers plot.

Research was carried out both on station and on-farm

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • 2,000-10,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: international non-government (material input: tools, fencing, planting material, diesel. etc.): 50.0%; local community / land user(s) (the rest of material input, labour, time (mainly low cost inputs)): 50.0%; other

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?


If yes, specify type(s) of support, conditions, and provider(s):

50% of activities were subsidised by the DWHH Project TAJ1068

5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • equipment
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
tools partly financed hand tools
  • agricultural
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
seeds partly financed
manure partly financed
  • construction
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
metal net fully financed
  • infrastructure
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
schools partly financed school, 2 rooms thermo insulated
  • other
Other (specify) To which extent Specify subsidies
Fuel, diesel, oil partly financed 1/4 of the need
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • voluntary

Rennovation of the chool for the children was a strong and vital argument demanding considerable investment. This was competed with the implementation of the SLM technology, where farmers had to make a choice; either spend the available funds for the school or continue with the SLM. The project has provided partial financial and technology support to farmers which made it easy to overcome the school situation and concentrate again on SLM activities.

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?


5.5 Other incentives or instruments

Were other incentives or instruments used to promote implementation of SLM Technologies?


If yes, specify:

Village development committee (VDC), use of locally available resources, focus on low cost

6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Most of the previous types of damage caused by water runoff were prevented. Trees grew in a landscape where they didn't before, due to long dry periods and high livestock pressure from grazing. There was a change in the farmer's attitudes, who prior to witnessing the technology were highly sceptical

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Only four families out of five in the microwatershed were able to receive the opportunity to improve their socio-economic status in the long term as a result of the project.

Did the Approach improve issues of land tenure/ user rights that hindered implementation of SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

The approach has added to the farmers self belief, ensured that they will effectively use existing land resources, and following the sustainable improvement of soil conditions, should add good potential for their own economic growth.

Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Farmers from the neighbouring watershed, came repeatedly to observe the plot. Three of these farmers adopted the technology themselves in the following year.

Did the Approach lead to improved livelihoods / human well-being?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Vegetables could be grown to supply more food to the family, a good amount of hay could be prepared for winter time, more benefits could be seen in the long run with extra fruits and fire wood

Did the Approach help to alleviate poverty?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

This was a pilot project, and only looked at poverty alleviation on a small scale. This technology has the potential to reduce poverty in the long term on a bigger scale.

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

  • increased production
  • increased profit(ability), improved cost-benefit-ratio
  • reduced workload
  • payments/ subsidies
  • environmental consciousness
  • well-being and livelihoods improvement

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • yes
If yes, describe how:

Yes, but only those who would have enough funds to implement costliest part of technology: the perimeter fencing (metal net). Overall, most farmers will happily continue with the implementation of the technology, if the initial costs are subsidised. There are also a few new farmers who were able to replicate the technology completely by themselves.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
The approach to share the implementation costs, consideration of general social needs, good project communication. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: More donor funding would be required to support more local farmers in the future. )
The approach has enabled a range of innovations that were never used before: contour lines, mulching etc.
The approach has helped to reveal the local problems related to technology implementation. It has helped participants to learn about the strength and potential of local land users in the implementation of the SLM approach and technology. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Lessons learned must be applied in the future implementation of SLM actions and replication. )
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The approach enabled the use of both international and local knowledge. Attention was given to capacity building and sustaining the organisation, as well as the mobilisation structure (VDC) at the grass roots level. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: All the knowledge experience gained from the project has to be documented and disseminated for replication.)
The reputation of DWHH, and long term collaboration with the Baljuvon district administration played a very positive role in the successful implementation of the conservation approach. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Members of the local authority should be continuously involved in training, capacity building and planning measures. )

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Sometimes the approach enabled unproductive discussions during the planning and designing phases. Project ambitions and objectives have to be adjusted to the local situation and farmer capacity and needs.
Farmers were facing situations where their other social and economic needs were strongly competing with the objectives of the project. Some additional funds, may need to be provided and more awareness of the farmer's situations need to be taken into account.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The approach required a lot of funding until the majors actors were trained and had the capacity to implement the conservation measures.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Grant Application Form to EU Commission: 'Individual incomes & Improving Living Standarts in Khatlon and Sughd Regions', TajikistanSketch map of Khirob MicrowatershedInterim Narrative Report 01.05.2009-30.04.2010 Project TAJ 1068

Available from where? Costs?

DWHH Regional Office, Dushanbe

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Sketch map of Khirob Microwatershed

Available from where? Costs?

DWHH, Baljuvon

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Interim Narrative Report 01.05.2009-30.04.2010 Project TAJ 1068

Available from where? Costs?

DWHH, Baljuvon

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