Addressing Land Degradation in Central Asia: Challenges and Opportunities
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Sanobar Khudaybergenova. (1/5/2016). Addressing Land Degradation in Central Asia: Challenges and Opportunities. Beirut, Lebanon: International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
Land degradation is a major challenge for sustainable development and poverty reduction in Central Asia. Since agriculture is an important source of rural incomes and employment in the region, declines in crop yields and livestock productivity due to land degradation have substantial negative impacts on the livelihoods of rural agricultural households. For the same reason, land degradation may also have considerable indirect economywide impacts through labor and food markets. Moreover, despite a decade of strong economic growth, the problems of poverty and malnutrition are persisting in many parts of the region, especially in the rural areas. The rural poor households in Central Asia have a high dependence on agriculture for their incomes, thus, land degradation could also have undesirable distributional effects, hindering the ongoing efforts to reduce poverty and eradicate malnutrition. The national governments, research and civil society organizations are well aware of this challenge and are making significant efforts to address land degradation. However, in spite of these efforts, the extent of land degradation and its severity are continuing to increase across the region. Quite often, actions to combat land degradation in Central Asia focus on individual agronomic and infrastructural elements, while the effectiveness of sustainable land management (SLM) interventions could be enhanced by a combined implementation of agronomic, socio-economic, institutional and policy measures through mutually consistent SLM packages. Needless to say, these SLM interventions need to be guided by evidence-based solid science in their formulation.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge