Oxfam has launched an ambitious System for Crop Intensification (SCI) programme in Tajikistan with a view to transforming crop productivity and the food security landscape in the country. Within the broader framework of SCI, a field trial of System for Rice Intensification (SRI) was carried out in Khatlon region in the summer cropping season of 2018. Preliminary results from the limited trial show an increase in rice productivity of up to 60% using standard SRI methodology (compared with traditional methods). Furthermore, there was a dramatic reduction in the use of seeds, fertilizers and water, which led to a significant cutback in the cost of rice cultivation for farmers. For a food-deficient, ecologically fragile country like Tajikistan, with limited availability of land and water for crop cultivation, climate-smart practices in SCI offer the potential to support productivity gains and the restoration of agro-ecological systems in rural areas.
Oxfam and its partners plan to conduct further field demonstrations and research on SCI across Tajikistan to further test the result and develop a standard package of practice. This will be followed up by a scaled-up programme on SCI across the country, leading to enhanced food security for poor people and improved productivity and income for smallholder farmers.
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