Bottle irrigation of a newly planted orchard [Tajikistan]

Обёрии катраги ба воситаи зарфхои пласмаси

technologies_1029 - Tajikistan

Completeness: 78%

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:
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Tajik Soil Insitute (Tajik Soil Institute) - 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:


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

A water-saving irrigation technique is used to ensure the establishment of young seedlings in arid conditions which have a water deficit.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Plastic bottles, 1.5-2 litres in size, are used for this technology. The bottom of the plastic bottle is removed and retained to be used as a cover. The bottle is then turned upside down and filled with water like a funnel. In this position, the lid of the bottle is twisted open very slowly until a drip rate of 5 drops per second is achieved. As soon as the desired water drip rate is reached, the lid is stuck to the bottle with some tape. At this drip rate 1.5 litres of water will drip out of the bottle every 90-100 minutes. The bottle is then buried in the soil next to the seedling with the wide part of the funnel sticking 10cm up out of the ground. The bottle's lid must be buried at the same level as the root collar. After this, grass, straw or black film is used to mulch the soil around the newly planted seedlings. Water drips slowly out and can go straight to the roots. Thus, no watering of the upper layer is needed. This technique also helps exclude evaporation of water from the upper layer of the soil. During the growth period bottles are filled with water once every 5 days. Bottles should be filled with clean water to avoid clogging of the lids.

Purpose of the Technology: The purpose of the technology is to improve the acclimation of seedlings with minimal use of water, as well as to help reduce erosion and risk of mudslides on these steep loess slopes which can occur as a result of other irrigation techniques.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: Selection of a plot, digging holes, purchase of seedlings, fencing nets, plastic bottles, preparation of bottles, planting seedlings, mulching, post-planting care for seedlings, irrigation

Natural / human environment: Middle mountain area, typical mountain brown soil, 30° slopes, rainless dry summer period. Vegetation cover is mainly large-sized cereal semi-savanna. Local population is involved in cattle-breeding and gardening.

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:

Nurabad District


Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 0.05 km2.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • during experiments/ research

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation

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



  • Annual cropping
  • Tree and shrub cropping
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1
Grazing land

Grazing land

Extensive grazing:
  • Semi-nomadic pastoralism
Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

Products and services:
  • Fuelwood
  • Fruits and nuts

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Farming can lead to erosion. Steep slopes are prone to mudslides. There is lack of irrigation water. Vegetation cover is severely damaged by extensive grazing.

Semi-nomadism / pastoralism: Yes

Forest products and services: fuelwood, fruits and nuts

Future (final) land use (after implementation of SLM Technology): Cropland: Ct: Tree and shrub cropping

Livestock is grazing on crop residues

3.3 Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?



  • Tree and shrub cropping
Grazing land

Grazing land

  • Livestock density (if relevant): 1-10 LU /km2

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

Потребность в воде: богарное, богарное

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • improved ground/ vegetation cover
  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A7: Others
vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V1: Tree and shrub cover
structural measures

structural measures

  • S11: Others
management measures

management measures

  • M1: Change of land use type

Main measures: vegetative measures, structural measures, management measures

Type of agronomic measures: mulching

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying

Main type of degradation addressed: Wg: gully erosion / gullying

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion

Main causes of degradation: overgrazing, Heavy / extreme rainfall (intensity/amounts), land tenure

Secondary causes of degradation: over-exploitation of vegetation for domestic use, other natural causes (avalanches, volcanic eruptions, mud flows, highly susceptible natural resources, extreme topography, etc.) specify, population pressure

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

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

Main goals: prevention of land degradation

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Installation of bottle when planting a seedling

Location: Mujiharv Jamoat. Nurabad

Date: 2011.04.05

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: high

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate

Secondary technical functions: stabilisation of soil (eg by tree roots against land slides), increase / maintain water stored in soil


Sosin Pjotr, Dushanbe, 21a Rudaki Avenue

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • USD

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Purchase of fencing net to fence the plot 7 days
2. Purchase of seedlings 1 month
3. Planting of seedlings 10 days
4. Fencing the plot 10 days

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour Planting of seedlings pieces 2000.0 0.227 454.0 100.0
Labour Fencing the plot ha 0.7 194.285 136.0 100.0
Equipment Fencing net to fence the plot meters 100.0 28.2 2820.0
Equipment Plastic bottles pieces 2000.0 0.0045 9.0
Plant material Seedlings pieces 2000.0 1.8865 3773.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 7192.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 7192.0

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Mulching
2. Watering
3. Plastic bottles

4.6 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 Mulching ha 1.0 454.0 454.0 100.0
Labour Watering ha 1.0 273.0 273.0 100.0
Labour Plastic bottles placing pieces 2000.0 0.023 46.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 773.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 773.0

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
  • semi-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:
  • medium (1-3%)
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 low

Soil drainage / infiltration is medium

Soil water storage capacity is medium

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

> 50 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)
  • commercial/ market
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • animal traction
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

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

Difference in the involvement of women and men: Wife takes care about the household (children, food)

Population density: 10-50 persons/km2

Annual population growth: > 4%

Off-farm income specification: Income is less for 30% in comparison with farmers, who didn't implement the technology

Market orientation of production system subsistence (self-supply): Growing fruits for personal consumption

5.7 Average area of land used 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)?
  • small-scale

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

Land ownership:
  • communal/ village
Land use rights:
  • leased
Water use rights:
  • leased

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • 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


product diversity

Water availability and quality

demand for irrigation water

Comments/ specify:

by using the bottle irrigation

Income and costs

farm income

Comments/ specify:

income from the orchard

diversity of income sources


Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency


recreational opportunities


SLM/ land degradation knowledge


conflict mitigation


Livelihoods and human well-being

Comments/ specify:

No improvement in livelihood is observed within the first three years after planting a new orchard. Livelihoods should improve with the first fruit bearing season.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

surface runoff

Comments/ specify:

из-за мульчирования


Comments/ specify:

from mulching


soil moisture

Comments/ specify:

while watering

soil cover


soil loss

Comments/ specify:

decreased erosion

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

biomass/ above ground C


plant diversity


habitat diversity


pest/ disease control

Other ecological impacts

Hazard towards adverse events


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability


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 increase or decrease 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 well
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 known

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

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

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:


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

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 1-10%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

360 Households

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 0-10%

2% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

360 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

There is a little trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: further implementations of the technology is limited by the lack of fund

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Prevents water erosion on steep slopes

How can they be sustained / enhanced? The demand for this technology among farmers will grow together with the development of gardening and reduction of risk of natural disasters which cause land slides, mudslides and erosion.
Prevents land slides

How can they be sustained / enhanced? For the period of existence of the orchard
Increases the percentage of fruit trees that aclimatise and survive.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Used for a period of two to three years until the root system is two-metres deep
Bottle irrigation saves water resources

How can they be sustained / enhanced? For a period of two to three years
Furrow irrigation is inappropriate for steep slopes since a surplus of water saturates loess soils causing land slides

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Not recommended

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

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Bottle irrigation requires frequent re-filling and is labour intensive Introduce drip irrigation

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

Links and modules

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