Bee-keeping in uplands [Tajikistan]

Beekeeping in uplands (English)

technologies_1040 - Tajikistan

Completeness: 63%

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:

Rustam Rakhimov

Community Agriculture and Watershed Management project in Tajikistan


Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Community Agriculture and Watershed Management project in Tajikistan (WB / CAWMP)

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:

Contributing to biodiversity conservation and land rehabilitation in uplands through beekeeping.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


In general technological goals are achieved indirectly in two main ways: (1) bees carry pollen over long distances as hives are carried from one place to another and help to spread these melliferous (honey producing) plants to uplands; (2) planting melliferous herbs (mainly esparcet and lucerne) on degraded pastures and arable lands as well as intercropping melliferous herbs in orchards. Melliferous herbs improve soil structure, accumulate organic carbon and increase crop capacity of high-energy fodder crops. These types of herbs also help to reduce pressure on nearby (winter) pastures.

Purpose of the Technology: Bee-keeping contributes to a diversified use of natural resources. Indirectly the project activities helps the preservation of biodiversity and rehabilitation of degraded lands. Through the combination of these impacts rural livelihoods can be improved.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: Purchase of hives, bee-families and specific equipment (frames, separators, etc)

Natural / human environment: Any regions of Tajikistan are suitable. Technology requires specific knowledge, which can be obtained from local associations of bee-farmers which have been set up in all regions of the country. Through the CAWMP project local associations of bee-farmers have increased their knowledge and skills and strengthened their potential. Therefore the population got access to products of traditional medicine – honey and other useful products.

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:

Zarafshan, Surkhob, Vanj and Toirsu watersheds

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • > 10,000 km2

The technology has been applied under 159 subprojects (small grants) of the World Bank CAWMP project in 4 watersheds

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • more than 50 years ago (traditional)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • as part of a traditional system (> 50 years)
Comments (type of project, etc.):


3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • preserve/ improve biodiversity

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

Land use mixed within the same land unit:


Specify mixed land use (crops/ grazing/ trees):
  • Agro-silvopastoralism



  • Annual cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • vegetables - other
  • lucerne, esparcet

Водопотребление: богарное, смешанное богарно-орошаемое

Grazing land

Grazing land

Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands

Products and services:
  • Other forest products

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): poor vegetation cover, lack of access to water resources in some regions

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): soil erosion, poor vegetation cover, lack of irrigation water

Semi-nomadism / pastoralism: Yes

Improved pasture: Yes

Other grazingland: agro-silvo-pastoralism

3.4 Water supply

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

Водопотребление: богарное, смешанное богарно-орошаемое

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • beekeeping, aquaculture, poultry, rabbit farming, silkworm farming, etc.

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A1: Vegetation/ soil cover
vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V2: Grasses and perennial herbaceous plants
structural measures

structural measures

  • S11: Others
management measures

management measures

  • M5: Control/ change of species composition

Main measures: agronomic measures, vegetative measures, management measures

Secondary measures: structural measures

Type of agronomic measures: better crop cover, mixed cropping / intercropping, legume inter-planting

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
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover
  • Bh: loss of habitats
  • Bs: quality and species composition/ diversity decline

Main type of degradation addressed: Bc: reduction of vegetation cover, Bh: loss of habitats, Bs: quality and species composition /diversity decline

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

Main causes of degradation: overgrazing

Secondary causes of degradation: soil management, crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub), deforestation / removal of natural vegetation (incl. forest fires), disturbance of water cycle (infiltration / runoff), droughts, poverty / wealth, education, access to knowledge and support services, war and conflicts

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

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

Secondary goals: mitigation / reduction of land degradation, rehabilitation / reclamation of denuded land

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate

Main technical functions: promotion of vegetation species and varieties (quality, eg palatable fodder)

Secondary technical functions: improvement of topsoil structure (compaction), stabilisation of soil (eg by tree roots against land slides), increase in organic matter, increase of infiltration, increase of biomass (quantity), spatial arrangement and diversification of land use

Change of land use practices / intensity level: additional use of melliferous (honey producing) plants

Control / change of species composition: control over melliferous plants in natural environment (meadows) and areas sown with legumes

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

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


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Purchase of bee-hives and bee-families
2. Preparing apiaries and hives
3. Replacement of apiaries
4. Purchase of specific beekeeping equipment
5. Trainings on beekeeping
6. Organization of purchases of materials, equipment and instruments
7. Organization of seasonal transportation of apiaries
8. Honey harvesting
9. Sale of products and distribution of income

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 Labour Persons/day 1.0 5.0 5.0 100.0
Equipment Purchase of bee-hives and bee-families hives 10.0 5.0 50.0
Equipment Purchase of specific beekeeping equipment kits 10.0 1.0 10.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 65.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 65.0

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Repair of hives
2. Keeping bees
3. Seasonal transportation of apiaries

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Length of vegetative season, harsh cold spells (dying of bees), pests and diseases, ways of transportation of apiary, number of places for localization of apiaries in vegetative period, distance and conditions of transportation, availability of markets and etc.

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
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

Also < 250 mm and 751-1,000 mm

Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid
  • semi-arid
  • arid

Thermal climate class: subtropics

Thermal climate class: temperate

Thermal climate class: boreal

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.
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Altitudinal zone: Also 101-500 m a.s.l.

Landforms: Also ridges and plateau / plains

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Level of mechanization:
  • mechanized/ motorized

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


fodder quality


product diversity


production area


Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency


health situation


community institutions


SLM/ land degradation knowledge


situation of socially and economically disadvantaged groups


Livelihood and human well-beeing

Comments/ specify:

Local associations of bee-farmers have increased their knowledge and skills, associations of bee-farmers have strengthened their potential, population got access to products of traditional medicine – honey and other useful products.

Ecological impacts


soil moisture


soil cover


soil loss


nutrient cycling/ recharge


soil organic matter/ below ground C

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

biomass/ above ground C


plant diversity


beneficial species


habitat diversity

Climate and disaster risk reduction

emission of carbon and greenhouse gases


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 not well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought not 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 well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

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


Long-term returns:

very positive

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

very positive

Long-term returns:

very positive


With high market prices for this products it is a very beneficial investment

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

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

2584 households in an area of >10'000 km^2

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

100% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

Comments on acceptance with external material support: Data are taken from the results of CAWMP project, even though it is known that this technology is more widely used. According to experts, 20-25 times more across Tajikistan.

Comments on spontaneous adoption: Information is not clear, but the technology is very popular in Tajikistan

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
improving public health
more money available
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Preservation and expansion of biodiversity in uplands

How can they be sustained / enhanced? regular monitoring
additional fodder crops

How can they be sustained / enhanced? expand lucerne and esparcet plantations
improving health of rural population
improving rural livelihoods

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?
high prices for specific equipment required for bee-farming expand market of materials for bee-farming, stimulate domestic and small production of materials and tools
remoteness of melliferous areas
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Poor organizational structure used for transportation of beehives develop associations of bee-farmers
lack of inventory of melliferous areas at national / regional level governmental support to associations of bee-farmers in terms of inventory of melliferous areas

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Data Base of the Community agriculture and Watershed Management Project (Narzimurod Kholov, Rustam Rakhimov)

Available from where? Costs?

Dushanbe, Rudaki 44, CAWMP PMU, free

Links and modules

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