Winter Chickpea Planting in Cold Dry Areas [Uzbekistan]

technologies_5916 - Uzbekistan

Completeness: 84%

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)

Senior Scientist:

Sharma Ram

International Center of Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)


Senior Scientist:

Akrammkhanov Akmal

International Center of Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)


Research Associate:

Amanov Shukhrat

International Center of Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)


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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 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

The use of cold tolerant chickpeas, sown in autumn, significantly benefits farmers by realizing higher profits thanks to smaller amounts of fertilizers required, increased yields, and a better market price.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have an extreme, unstable and uncertain environment. A large part of Uzbekistan also falls under a cold winter desert regime with extremely cold winters, hot summers and a dry climate. These conditions are being exacerbated because of climate change. The temperatures vary between (approximately) -20 and 40 degrees Celsius for winter and summer respectively. In addition to these harsh temperatures, there is little precipitation in the rainfed landscapes, with average annual rainfall varying between 100 and 200 millimetres. The extreme environment results in difficult conditions for agricultural production in rainfed areas, because most plants are not able to grow during winter due to low temperatures and non-optimally used, scarce, rainfall during that period. In addition, land is degraded due to the continuous mono-cropping of cereals. This has led to the depletion of soil organic matter and soil nutrients and will lead to a soil unsuitable for crop cultivation.
The International Centre of Agriculture Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) recognized this problem and conducted research into improved varieties that can cope with the extreme temperatures in winter. These improved varieties were then shared with national partners, who evaluated them. Chickpeas are considered to be a promising crop, because firstly, they are leguminous with a high protein content. Legumes have the benefit of fixing atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. This is important since the soil is becoming exhausted due to continuous cultivation of cereals. Secondly, by planting chickpeas in autumn, the rainfall that falls in winter can be efficiently used. Thirdly, chickpeas planted in autumn, complete their life cycle before the heatwaves in summer and thus can be harvested easily.
Furthermore, farmers benefit because the chickpeas increase net income, compared to cereal production. This is thanks to the higher rainfall efficiency, improved soil conditions and avoided heatwaves. Originally, farmers planted regular chickpeas in the early spring, missing valuable winter rain. They were forced to plant in this period because the traditional chickpea varieties would not survive low winter temperatures. Additionally, sowing was often postponed because the soil was too wet due to snow melt. Improved chickpeas, sown in autumn, yield up to 50% more than the spring-sown chickpeas - reaching a yield up to two tonnes per hectare. Besides economic profitability, soil health has improved due to nitrogen fixation. In turn, this translates into higher profits because less nitrogen fertilizer is required.
The fields are prepared in October, the chickpeas are sown and fertilizer is applied. In March, the fields are weeded. Finally, the winter chickpeas are harvested, threshed and cleaned between May and June. In this documentation, manual weeding and manual harvesting are described because on many small farms and households most activities rely on family labour. However, winter chickpeas may also be harvested and weeded by machine, reducing costs.
Information and data presented is partly made available through the project Collaborative Research Project on Sustainable Soil Management to Enhance Agricultural Productivity in Central Asia funded by IFPRI within the framework of Russian Federation funding to CGIAR.

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:


Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, specify area covered (in km2):


Is/are the technology site(s) located in a permanently protected area?


2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • during experiments/ research
  • through projects/ external interventions

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • adapt to climate change/ extremes and its impacts
  • create beneficial economic impact

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



  • Annual cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • legumes and pulses - other
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1
Is intercropping practiced?


Is crop rotation practiced?


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

Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?
  • No (Continue with question 3.4)

3.4 Water supply

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

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • improved ground/ vegetation cover
  • improved plant varieties/ animal breeds

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A3: Soil surface treatment
  • A5: Seed management, improved varieties
management measures

management measures

  • M4: Major change in timing of activities

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
chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bl: loss of soil life

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation
  • restore/ rehabilitate severely degraded land

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

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Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

The plant density is 350,000 to 500,000 plants per hectare, following this spacing:
Plant interspace in row (A) = 7 to 10 centimeters
Row interspace (B) = 30 to 45 centimeters


Joren Verbist



4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology area
Indicate size and area unit:

1 hectare

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • USD
Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Seed Procurement September - October
2. Land Preparation October
3. Planting October
4. Fertilization October
5. Weed Control March
6. Harvesting, Threshing and Cleaning May-June

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 Weeding Labour-Day 3.8 10.0 38.0 100.0
Labour Harvesting Labour-Day 3.8 10.0 38.0 100.0
Equipment Plow Machine-Hour 1.0 14.0 14.0 100.0
Equipment Harrow Machine-Hour 1.0 14.0 14.0 100.0
Equipment Seeder Machine-Hour 1.0 14.0 14.0 100.0
Equipment Thresher Machine-Hour 2.0 21.0 42.0 100.0
Equipment Cleaner Machine-Hour 1.0 19.0 19.0 100.0
Equipment Cultivator Machine-Hour 1.5 7.0 10.5 100.0
Plant material Chickpea Seeds Kilogram 60.0 1.9 114.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Ammophos Kilogram 100.0 0.24 24.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Urea Kilogram 100.0 0.19 19.0 100.0
Other Fuel Liter 50.0 0.67 33.5 100.0
Other Transportation Total 1.0 38.0 38.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 418.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 418.0

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The cost of the chickpea seeds significantly contributes to the costs.

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:

In the summer (June - September) there is little rainfall (0-10 average mm / month). In the remaining months, the average monthly precipitation is between 10 and 20 mm.

Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid
  • arid

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.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • not relevant

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)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

poor/ none

Water quality (untreated):

for agricultural use only (irrigation)

Water quality refers to:

ground water

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?


5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • low
Habitat diversity:
  • low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • mechanized/ motorized
  • women
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged
  • elderly

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:
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • individual
Are land use rights based on a traditional legal system?


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


crop quality


risk of production failure

Income and costs

expenses on agricultural inputs


farm income


Ecological impacts


soil cover


nutrient cycling/ recharge


soil organic matter/ below ground C


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

impact of 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?
seasonal temperature winter decrease very well
annual rainfall decrease not well
seasonal rainfall winter increase very well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
extreme winter conditions very 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:


Long-term returns:

very positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • > 50%
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 91-100%

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Increased income because of higher yield
Decreased costs because of less required fertilizer
Improved soil conditions because of nitrogen fixation.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Improved soil conditions
Higher rain-water efficiency

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?
Decreased production of cereals hence increased relative demand for cereals Research is needed into the possibility of combining chickpeas and cereals e.g., intercropping or crop rotation.
Costs of seeds of improved chickpea variety, however less required fertilizer and improved yield compensates for this. More farmers producing seeds should result in lower seed costs.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The mono-cropping of chickpeas might lead to increased risk of diseases Research is needed into the possibility of combining chickpeas and other crops e.g., intercropping or better pest resistant varieties.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • interviews with SLM specialists/ experts
  • compilation from reports and other existing documentation
When were the data compiled (in the field)?



The documentation was carried out in 2021, starting in January.

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Shukhrat Amanov, Akmal Akramkhanov, Ram Sharma. (4/4/2019). Climate-resilient food legumes for higher and sustainable productivity of rain-fed crop lands in Central Asia.

Available from where? Costs?

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Dilfuza Egamberdieva, Vyacheslav Shurigin, Subramaniam Gopalakrishnan, Ram Sharma. (20/2/2014). Growth and Symbiotic Performance of Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) Cultivars under Saline Soil Conditions. Journal of Biological and Chemical Research, 31(1), pp. 333-341.

Available from where? Costs?

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Ram Sharma. (1/6/2020). Planting Chickpea in October Shows Promise in the Cold Winter Dessert Climate of Uzbekistan. Beirut, Lebanon: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

Available from where? Costs?

Links and modules

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