FARMERS FIELD DAY AS PART OF THE WAPRO PROJECT
ENHANCING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FIELD IRRIGATION IN KYRGYZSTAN
The WAPRO project leaded by HELVETAS and founded from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is a global project which offers a holistic push-pull-policy approach that encourages water stewardship – collective action towards the sustainable use of water. Kyrgyzstan is one of the 16 countries of Asia and Africa, where diverse stakeholders – from farmers and local NGOs to corporations and governments – take joint responsibility for the precious resource from which we all benefit.
The WAPRO first phase from 2015 until 2018 shows that farmers in Kyrgyzstan save 30-40% of water through new irrigation methods. Farmers master water saving methods. For example, by switching to short furrows which allow for more even water distribution.
For the exchange of the gained knowledge, impacts of new methods of field irrigation and the supplement of expertise the public foundation Bio Service implemented a field day for 96 participants in Bazar Korgon, Jalal-Abad Region. At this platform the stakeholders of the project came together to share their experiences with various irrigation methods. The Bio Service trainer Bolot Joldoshov provided guidance to farmers on sustainable production and water stewardship.
Success stories and mistakes for water productivity in cotton cultivation were collected together and success factors were derived from them. In the end they were discussed in plenary.
In the fields of the local organic cotton farmers Bekmuratov Akyl, Osorov Rasul and Kablanov Joldosh, who are supported by HELVETAS, the participants made their own impressions of their methods. The advantages and disadvantages of variable flow of furrow irrigation and drought-tolerant cotton variety (like the Turkish variety Flash) became visible on site.
The event was attended by representatives of JCCC “Bio Farmer” of the Agricultural Development Department of the Bazar-Korgon region, representatives of the Suzak Biocenter and seed production cooperative “Yunusov”, the WAPRO project, employees of the Bio Service Public Foundation.
Inspired by the networking on the field days and gained knowledge the participants will optimize the water management of their own fields. The successful WAPRO project will continue. Sustainable water management will not lose importance in Kyrgyzstan. On the contrary, climate change and different framework conditions will increase the importance of water productivity. Until the end of the 21th century water level of the biggest rivers in Central Asia will be reduced by up to 50 percent.