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Total land area of the Republic of Tajikistan constitutes 14,255 thousand hectares, of which 4,126 thousand hectares (32%) are being used in the agriculture, including 586 thousand hectares of irrigated lands. According to the data of 2000, the agricultural land use was the following:
Some 90% of cropland area prone to various erosion processes. Water erosion is widespread on the foothills and in the mountains (41% of the country territory); on the desert territories - soil deflation (24% of the territory), and on irrigated lands - irrigation and gully erosion (1,5% of the territory).
Erosion results in the destruction of the fertile topsoil; its biological qualities worsen. Thus, on the lands with lightly washed topsoil productivity falls 10-20%; on the lands with middle level of washed topsoil productivity falls 30-40%; and on the lands with high level of washed topsoil productivity falls twice and more. In dry years, productivity of cereals on eroded rain-feed lands reduces 3 times.
Valleys of Tajikistan are located mainly in dry areas, where annual rainfall does not exceed 250 mm a year, and evaporation reaches 1500 mm. Agricultural irrigation is the only type of plant growing here. Recently, as a result of drought, lack of mineral fertilizers and absence of crop rotation, a mass dehumidification of old irrigated lands takes place.
The increase in the number of days with showers will lead to intensive erosion. Sandstorms frequently affect agriculture, and in the future they can be a reason for soil deflation. Long dry periods together with high temperatures in spring and summer will lead to intensification of desertification processes in the Southern and Central Tajikistan. Uncontrolled deforestation reaches disaster proportions. Gully erosion and landslides will continue to aggravate due to land reclamation on steep slopes. The wash-out of topsoil will continue on hundreds of thousand hectares.
For land resources conservation and increase of soil fertility new methods of land farming, adaptation, and protection measures on the area 1,5 million hectares are vitally needed.
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