Scientists of the Karrykul research station of the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan received an electric generator and a photovoltaic installation that will help them nurture and monitor the development and adaptation of tens of thousands of seedlings of different types of desert plants.
The equipment was supplied as part of the cooperation of the project “Integrated Natural Resources Management in Drought-prone and Salt-affected Agricultural Production Landscapes in Central Asia and Turkey” (CACILM2) with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in its Monday press release. The CACILM2 project is implemented by the FAO and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The FAO said the equipment has a number of advantages, including raising fresh water for irrigation from great depths, carrying out a number of scientific and experimental studies to determine the mechanical and mineralogical composition of sands, studying samples and fractions of sand and seeds of psammophytes (plants adapted to life on shifting sands), establishment of autonomous power supply for residential buildings, laboratories, utility rooms and other structures of the Karrykul research station to ensure its efficient operation.
Close cooperation of the FAO/GEF project with the Karrykul station will allow expanding the planting and preparation of psammophyte plants – white and black Saxaul, Cherkez, Kandym, Acacia arida – to consolidate shifting and man-made sands and increase the productivity of degraded desert pastures, create protective forest belts around wells and settlements.
In the future, on the basis of the Karrykul station, it is planned to conduct practical exercises and train local communities in phyto-reclamation works, methods of fixing shifting sands and technology of planting desert plants to restore degraded desert pastures. One of the farmer field schools in Turkmenistan will also be created at the Karrykul station.