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Vertical growing of potatoes in pits, by the gradual addition of further layers of soil. [Tajikistan]

technologies_1038 - Tajikistan

Completeness: 73%

1. General information

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

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Youth Ecological Center, Tajikistan (Youth Ecological Center, Tajikistan) - Tajikistan
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
NCCR North-South (NCCR North-South) - Kyrgyzstan

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


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


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Vertical growing of potatoes in pits, by the gradual addition of further layers of soil.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


The technology is used in areas that have extreme climatic conditions and a high water deficit. The technology is quite simple; compost or enriched soil is placed into the bottom of a 50x50x50cm pit. Then, one or two potatoes are planted into the base of the pit, and covered with soil. As the potato grows, the pit is gradually filled up with soil to keep it covered. It is also watered regulary.

Purpose of the Technology: The purpose of this technology is to improve the potato yield, and therefore to increase farm income under these climatic conditions. The technology is well adapted to this arid area with only a little irrigation water available, because the method improves access to water.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The technology is quite simple and not cost intensive. Costs are mainly connected to the purchase of high-quality seeds and compost production. Labour is needed to dig the pits, and fill and maintain them.

Natural / human environment: The technology can be used under any agricultural conditions, such as on Dehkan farms as well as in kitchen gardens

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:

Khatlon District, Nosiri Husrav region

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied



  • Annual cropping
Main crops (cash and food crops):

major food crop: potatoes


Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): The main problem is connected with optimum use of land

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • full irrigation
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2

Longest growing period in days: 150Longest growing period from month to month: January - MaySecond longest growing period in days: 180Second longest growing period from month to month: June - November

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, indicate approximate area covered:
  • < 0.1 km2 (10 ha)

Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 1ha m2.

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A2: Organic matter/ soil fertility

Main measures: agronomic measures

Type of agronomic measures: relay cropping, mulching, manure / compost / residues, furrows (drainage, irrigation)

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
physical soil deterioration

physical soil deterioration

  • Pk: slaking and crusting
  • Pi: soil sealing

Main type of degradation addressed: Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content, Pk: sealing and crusting

Main causes of degradation: crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub), land tenure

Secondary causes of degradation: soil management, change in temperature, change of seasonal rainfall, droughts, poverty / wealth

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

Main goals: prevention of land degradation, mitigation / reduction of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology


Kalandarov R., Dushanbe, 3 Herzin street

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

A drawing showing the pit's lower part, which is filled with compost and rich soil as the potato grows.

Location: South of Tajikistan. Husrav, Khatlon

Date: 11.05.2011

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate

Main technical functions: improvement of surface structure (crusting, sealing)

Relay cropping
Material/ species: potato seeds
Remarks: digging pits

Manure / compost / residues
Material/ species: compost

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • US Dollars
other/ national currency (specify):


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Digging holes Structural

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Digging holes ha 1.0 8.0 8.0 100.0
Equipment Tools pieces 1.0 5.0 5.0 100.0
Plant material Seeds kg 200.0 0.45 90.0 1.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 103.0

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. Filling pits with soil Agronomic человек ден
2. заполнения лунки почвой человек/день

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Filling pits with soil Persons/day 0.1 5.0 0.5 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 0.5

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Digging the pits is the most determinate factor as it requires a lot of labour.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Agro-climatic zone
  • arid

Thermal climate class: subtropics

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil fertility is very low

Soil drainage / infiltration is medium

Soil water storage capacity is very low

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

< 5 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • animal traction
  • women
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users

Population density: 10-50 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 0.5% - 1%

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • medium-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • state
Water use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production

Water availability and quality

demand for irrigation water


Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency


Livelihood and human well-beeing


Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

surface runoff

Climate and disaster risk reduction

drought impacts


6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm not known
local windstorm well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not well

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period not known

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

very positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

very positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):



Comments on spontaneous adoption: The technology is being gradually improved and developed

There is a little trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: There has been some gradual adoption.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
New agricultural technology
Growing in pits promotes an increase in crop yield

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Good yields are possible with the use of required agrotechnology
Water saving technology

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Individual irrigation
The technology can be used on small land plots and is therefore well adapted for the use in kitchen gardens

How can they be sustained / enhanced? The technology is able to provide one family with enough food for their use.

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
все что указано выше
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Technology is applicable to a small land area. not taken into account due to specific characteristics of the technology
Problems during harvesting period

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