IWMI-Central Asia project team visit to USDA-ARS research sites

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IWMI-Central Asia project team visit to USDA-ARS research sites

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has joined with several agencies supported by the United States government (USG) to support Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER). PEER, administered by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), is a competitive grants program that invites scientists in developing countries, partnered with USG-supported collaborators, to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities on topics with strong potential development impacts.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) – Central Asia Office (IWMI-Central Asia) was one of the grant recipients of cycle 4 of the PEER program, and this led to implementation of the project titled Mitigating the competition for water in Amudarya River Basin, Central Asia, by improving water use efficiency. Project collaborators include international experts from the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and national partners from the UzGIP Research and Design Institute, Uzbekistan, and Sogd Water Authority, Tajikistan.

Initial findings within the framework of the project led to the planning of further activities, which included studying USDA experience and enhancing established partnerships with US research institutes in the field of water resources management. For this purpose, a trip was organized to USDA-ARS research sites in Fresno and Riverside in California, USA.

Kakhramon Djumaboev (Water Resources Management Specialist) and Zafar Gafurov (Research Officer – RS/GIS) from IWMI-Central Asia visited the research stations in California during the period October 29 – November 5, 2016. The visit was organized by Dr. James Ayars (Agriculture Engineer, USDA-ARS, and lead collaborator of the project), who provided guidance and support throughout the entire visit. The team from IWMI deliberated on progress of the project, and exchanged views with members of USDA-ARS on water and land resources management. They also visited experimental sites of USDA-ARS in Fresno, and the US Salinity Laboratory in Riverside.

Plans to publish research findings

The use of various scales of lysimeters for precise calculation of water requirement for crop varieties and trees, using advanced irrigation methods, safe use of drainage water, and salinity mapping methodologies using RS/GIS were discussed during the visit. The lessons learned were fully applicable to the Central Asian context. The team from IWMI and partners agreed to follow up on agreed actions within the framework of the USAID PEER program, and publish joint project findings in peer-reviewed journals.


Zafar Gafurov at the entrance to USDA-ARS San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, Fresno, California, USA.

Photo: Kakhramon Djumaboev, IWMI.



Meeting with USDA-ARS staff at the research site in Fresno, California, USA.

Photo: Zafar Gafurov, IWMI.



Kakhramon Djumaboev with Dr. Ayars at the US Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California, USA.

Photo: Zafar Gafurov, IWMI.


Meeting with Donald L. Suarez, Director, US Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California, USA.

Photo: Zafar Gafurov, IWMI.


Project receives government approval

The project has received positive responses from state institutions, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations (Investment and Trade), Hydromet and Nature Protection Committee, and local partners in the area. The project was included in the list of technical assistance projects by the Cabinet of Ministries of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and this was approved by Rustam Azimov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

For further details of the project, visit http://centralasia.iwmi.cgiar.org/show-projects/?C=851

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Categories : Central Asia News

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