Practical implementation of the complex methodology (non-chemical, organic) for rehabilitation of saline-alkaline lands of Ararat valley
Practical implementation of the complex methodology (non-chemical, organic) for rehabilitation of saline-alkaline lands of Ararat valley
ECO-99 CBO in cooperation with the Armenia Round Table (ART) has been testing and applying complex organic methods of land management on the saline areas of Ararat valley in Armenia, where a large part of land is not cultivated because of salination and desertification. In a land-starved country this is a serious problem, and if ways are not found to solve it, it will turn into a serious ecological, social and economic problem.
Ararat valley, occupying only 13% of the territory of Armenia, provides more than 40% of gross agricultural output. About 30 thousand hectares of lands here, where two-three crops can be harvested annually, are saline and left idle. Chemical methods were used in Soviet times for returning these lands into agricultural circulation. These methods were expensive, ineffective and causing ecological damage.
ECO-99 ecological CBO was established in 1999 by a number of advanced land owners and scientists with an aim to implement sustainable land management practices in Armenia utilizing ecologically safe methods of improving saline lands. Since that time ECO-99 and ART have implemented a number of projects on training of local farmers in nature friendly methods of agricultural practices on saline land plots. A demonstration farm was set up on 20 ha with a training-resource center. Currently, in the ECO-99 demo farm territory, 10 ha of land are under rehabilitation, a fishery is established, as well as a cattle shed and a solar dryer, many plants are tested. Dozens of training seminars and workshops have been conducted covering various issues of utilization of saline lands.
The comprehensive complex methodology of rehabilitation of saline lands on Ararat valley, locally tested by ECO-99, includes the following activities:
- Rehabilitation (cleaning) of drainage system in the target land plots to address soil salination caused by the high level of underground water.
- Application of irrigation water saving methods (i.e. - introduction of soil humidity measuring devices and other technologies).
- Fertilization of soil with only organic fertilizers, like bio-humus, manure, etc.
- Introduction of shelterbelt and industrial forests as a land cultivation and improvement measure.
- Application crop rotation schemes, using specific plants fit for saline soil (e.g. pumpkin, local varieties of vegetables, etc.).
Currently farmers, the most vulnerable groups in Ararat valley, are willing to utilize their land plots which are left idle and prone to desertification. Training and demonstration of the methodology implemented by ECO-99 in its demonstration farm is important, but the need in practical assistance, i.e. providing with agricultural machinery, fuel, testing material, is crucial. There is need to inspire people through concrete results. Successful start up activities will give an impetus to further work of these vulnerable people.
The project goal is to start activities on nature friendly and ecologically safe complex methods of rehabilitation of saline lands on Ararat valley in Armenia with the help of theoretical and practical undertakings.
The specific objectives of the projects are (1) strengthening capacities of the demo farm of ECO-99 CBO, which will become the first one in Armenia implementing and disseminating a complex organic method of rehabilitation of saline lands; a small demo plot will be established in the neighbouring community of Haykashen; (2) through theoretical and on-job trainings disseminate the SLM practices among other farmers and youth.

Please see the film on project results at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpXujBlcXJQ (Armenian version)
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
ECO-99
Country:
Armenia
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 25,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 12,500.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 13,765.00
Project Number:
ARM/SGP/OP4/Y2/CORE/2009/05
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
50% of project beneficiaries are women who will participate in training sessions, both theoretical and practical.
Notable Community Participation
At least 100 local farmers from three villages of Armavir province and 60 youth are project beneficiaries. After getting theoretical and practical knowledge they will start step by step applying SLM practices on their own land plots. The demo land plots in Haykashen will be selected by the community members during the inception meeting according to the selection criteria agreed upon.
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Indicators
Empowerment
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 50
Biophysical
Hectares of land sustainably managed by project 13
Livehood
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 300

Partnership

Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation of the World Council of Churches

Grantee Contact

Ms. Karine Baghdasaryan
Phone: +374 91 41 30 65
Email: karine_baghdasaryan06@yahoo.com
 

Address

Markara Ave.
Echmiadzin , Armavir province , 1101

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Hovhannes Ghazaryan
Phone:
+374 60 530000+116
Fax:
(+374 10) 543811
Email:
Ms. Svetlana Harutyunyan
Phone:
+374 60 530000+117
Email:

Address

14 Adamyan St.
Yerevan, 0010

Country Website