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Kyrgyzstan to Spend $30 mln to Introduce Drip Irrigation

Friday 17 April 2015

BISHKEK (Times of Central Asia) — Kyrgyzstan has started introducing drip irrigation on the country’s farmland, Kyrgyzstan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Taiyrbek Sarpashev said yesterday at a meeting in the Agriculture Ministry.

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Drip irrigation system layout and its parts.

According to Sarpashev, installation of a drip irrigation system has begun on 400 hectares in the Kemin district of the Chui province in northern Kyrgyzstan, the governmental press service reported. Similar projects have been started on 300 hectares of farmland in the Kara-Su district of the Osh province and on 10,000 hectares in the Kadamjai district of the Batken province in southern Kyrgyzstan. Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation or localized irrigation, is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. It is done through narrow tubes that deliver water directly to the base of the plant.

“It is planned to direct not less than $30 mln of investment resources exclusively for the introduction of drip irrigation”, the first deputy premier said. “This irrigation method helps to preserve the soil structure, prevents the soil erosion, and increases the yield.”

Agriculture Minister Taalaibek Aidaraliyev said that the ministry had opened a Centre for introduction of innovation technologies in the agricultural sector, one of whose priorities will be the introduction of drip irrigation in Kyrgyzstan.

In Kyrgyzstan the State Committee on Water and Land Reclamation is entrusted with water resources management, state irrigation and land reclamation. The Emergency Ministry is responsible for water protection, legislation of environmental protection and control of sewerage disposal in water bodies. The Agency on Geology and Mineral Resources deals with groundwater resources management.

In 2014, drip irrigation was used on 140 hectares in Kyrgyzstan. In 2015, the country plans to extend the area under drip irrigation up to a thousand hectares. Earlier this month First Deputy Premier Sarpashev said that by the end of this year Kyrgyzstan plans to spend more than $150 mln for support and introduction of the latest technologies in the agricultural sector.

In Kyrgyzstan, extending irrigation to about 1,200,000 ha could be accomplished on dry lands, pasture and hayfields. Assuming a 1% annual growth rate, the population will be 5.6 mln in 2015 and 6.2 mln in 2025. Feeding a larger population can be achieved by increasing the arable land area, by intensifying crop production and increasing crop yields, by importing additional food needed, or by a combination of all. Basic measures required to increase food production are to increase land and crop productivity; train farmers; introduce advanced agricultural techniques (soil tillage, crop selection, crop rotation and fertilizers) and land reclamation techniques (irrigation, drainage, leaching), and promote appropriate measures for the development of additional land and water resources.

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