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Siegmund-Schultze M.,TU Berlin | Rischkowsky B.,International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas | Yuldashev I.,ZEF UNESCO Khorezm Project | Abdalniyazov B.,Urganch State University | Lamers J.P.A.,University of Bonn
Journal of Arid Environments

Even two decades after independence in 1991, the agricultural sector of Uzbekistan remains regulated by the government, prescribing the number of cattle head per agricultural area or imposing mandatory cash crops. The policy makers are insufficiently informed about the bottlenecks in the different livestock production units and base their policies mainly on general knowledge. This study analyzed the two major cattle farm types in the Khorezm province, 56 medium-scale farms (LS; on average 22ha) and 80 household farms (HH; on average 0.2ha). While LS farms produced more metabolizable energy and crude protein than required by their own ruminant livestock, the feeds produced by HH farms covered only a third of the requirements. Despite their limited farm size, the HH farmers took an active part in the commercial farming sector, for example, through the purchase of inputs for cattle and crop production, and product sales. The HH farms generated higher relative crop yields than their LS counterparts, while cattle productivity of both was comparable, albeit low. The present findings can be considered as a benchmark for monitoring developments in the cattle sector and as a source of information for directing improvements in feed supply, cattle health and husbandry. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Oberkircher L.,Institute of Landscape Ecology | Shanafield M.,Flinders University | Ismailova B.,ZEF UNESCO Khorezm Project | Saito L.,University of Nevada, Reno
Ecology and Society

Transformation of the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan from forested to agricultural landscapes resulted in the formation of hundreds of lakes, the dynamics of which are largely controlled by inputs from irrigation runoff waters. The importance of the ecological and socio-cultural dimensions of one of these lakes, Shurkul, is discussed in order to understand the connection between humans and their environment. Landscape is used as a boundary concept, and we combine quantitative methods of the natural sciences with qualitative methods of the social sciences to assess these dimensions of the lake landscape. In the ecological dimension, Shurkul performs a wide range of ecosystem services from wildlife habitat and foodweb support to the provision of fish, fodder, building material and grazing ground. In the socio-cultural dimension, the lake is part of local ecological knowledge, functions as a prestige object and recreational site, and is rooted in religious beliefs of the population as a symbol of God's benevolence. The Shurkul landscape may thus create a feeling of environmental connectedness and the desire to act in favor of the natural environment, which could be made use of in environmental education programs. © 2011 by the author(s). Source

Rudenko I.,ZEF UNESCO Khorezm Project | Djanibekov U.,University of Bonn | Nurmetov K.,Slovak University of Agriculture | Lamers J.P.A.,University of Bonn
Research in Social Problems and Public Policy

Intensive agricultural production in the countries of the Aral Sea Basin has resulted in undesirable ecological and social consequences, including the drying of the Aral Sea. Water has become scarce due to a score of internal and external factors including the growing demand for water resources by the upstream countries, expansion of the irrigated areas to ease food insecurity, and the poor condition of irrigation and drainage networks. To cope with environmental consequences and regional water challenges, it is vital to look for pathways of improved integrated water resource management, higher water use efficiencies, and reducing overall water use. A combination of value chain and water footprint analyses of the dominant crop, cotton, was applied to assess water use in different sectors of the Uzbekistan economy and to seek water saving and improved water management and efficiency options. The findings show that reduction in water use could be achieved by diversifying the economy and moving from water intensive agricultural production to less water consuming industrial sectors by introducing water saving irrigation technologies and by raising awareness of the population about the real value of water. The combined findings of the economic based value chain analysis and ecologically oriented water footprint analysis gave an added value for better informed decision-making to reach land, water, and ecosystem sustainability and to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty and hunger and achieving food and water security. Copyright © 2012 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Source

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