Ashgabat, 20 March 2020: The joint project of UNDP / GEF and the State Committee for Water Resources of Turkmenistan “Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Water Management in Turkmenistan”, together with the “Turkmensuwylymtaslama” water research institute planted of seedlings of orchards and vineyards at the research area of ​​145 hectares in Gokdepe.  

These measures are carried out with the aim of improving the reclamation state of the soil on the site and combating land degradation, which corresponds to the national initiative for planting 10 million seedlings of trees throughout the country as part of the National Forest Program in 2020.

Approximately 5,900 seedlings of fruit and berry crops were planted on an area of ​​about 4.0 ha of the research site in Geokdepe. Of these, 240 seedlings of horticultural crops were planted on an area of ​​0.28 hectares and will be irrigated using a drip irrigation system using traditional sources of electric energy supply. Another 580 seedlings of horticultural trees were planted on the area of ​​0.50 ha which will be irrigated using drip irrigation system powered by renewable energy sources, namely solar energy.

“Creating favorable conditions for water supply in drip irrigation system will not only increase the yield of fruit trees and reduce irrigation water costs, but also in combination with the use of renewable energy sources will significantly reduce the consumption of energy and thereby minimize greenhouse gas emissions during drip irrigation of orchards and vineyards,” noted the project specialist Chary Taganov.

Starting from 2018, under the joint project of UNDP/GEF and the State Committee for Water Resources of Turkmenistan, scientists and graduate students conduct the research on the effectiveness of using water-saving irrigation technologies in the cultivation of cotton, winter wheat, lucerne, corn, vegetables and melons.

Research at the Gokdepe site has proven high efficiency of drip irrigation for cotton, vegetables and corn. Using drip irrigation allowed boosting cotton yield at about 6.0 t / ha for two years of research in average, which is about 2.5 times more than using traditional furrow irrigation. Also, using drip irrigation system allows reducing the volume of water to about 738 cubic meters of irrigation which is about 5.8 times less to obtain 1 ton of raw cotton. The cost of electric energy to power water supply also decreased by almost 2 times compared with the existing technologies for organizing furrow irrigation.

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