Climate change makes agriculture very challenging activity. Shortages of water, droughts, desertification and degradation of previously fertile areas, more extreme weather conditions, which are hard to predict, make tasks set in front of the farmers hard to achieve. As a result, farmers have to adapt to the changing climatic conditions by growing different types of crops, re-sowing, changing planting and harvesting patterns, using new varieties and types of technologies, changing practices, approaches and mindset in agriculture.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan implement a joint project funded by the Special Climate Change Fund of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which supports local farmers in Dashoguz and Lebap regions to adapt to the climate change conditions and find alternative sources of income. As a long-term impact, the implemented actions ensure resilience and sustainable growth on the level of the farmers’ unions in the two regions and economic support to the rural households.
“When we started our work in Lebap and Dashoguz regions, we have prioritized consultations with the farmers of the selected farmer’s unions. It was revealed that for some farmers growing crops and receiving a good yields from household plots were challenging, while others did not have a problem with harvesting, but could not store the harvested crops when it was excessive. As a result, people relied on restrained traditional sources of income under the climate change conditions, without considering alternative ways of obtaining income,” describes Amangul Ovezberdiyeva, UNDP/GEF project manager.
In “Garagum” Livestock farmer of Dashoguz region, farmers grow various fruits and vegetables on the household plots. The collected harvest provides income after selling vegetables on the local market and ensures food for the family members throughout the year. However, horticulture stopped bringing as much income as it used to some 10 years ago, and was outweighed by cattle breeding on the territory of the household plots (as a source of income) due to the changing climatic conditions.