Global Soil Partnership

Capacity development program in Central Asia on Soil salinity mapping and soil fertility restoration

Effective soil management requires the availability of soil data


September 8, 2020, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan - Nearly 60 percent of Central Asia's population depends on agriculture for food and wellbeing and healthy soils ensures food security and income for the entire population of the region.

Meanwhile, 40 to 60 percent of irrigated land in Central Asia is salt-affected or waterlogged. The most affected soils are in Turkmenistan (68% of the irrigated area), Uzbekistan (51%), Kazakhstan (20%) and Turkey (30%). In Kyzylorda region of Kazakhstan alone (affected by the consequences of the Aral Sea drying out) more than 73 thousand hectares of irrigated land are subject to severe salinity.

Most of irrigated land in Central Asia need to be considerably improved, so modern agricultural practices and the return of abandoned land to agriculture production are on the regional agricultural agenda.

Under the FAO-GEF Project “Integrated Natural Resources Management in Drought-prone and Salt-affected Agricultural Production Landscapes in Central Asia and Turkey (CACILM-2)” and in collaboration with the Global Soil Partnership, a number of interactive trainings on mapping salt-affected soils and applying innovative approaches and biotechnologies to restore soil fertility were held in Central Asia.artnership, who held a training for 31 Central Asian specialists representing  countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) from 29-31 July through a virtual setting.

The new format of trainings and dissemination of successful experience attract not only Project partners from the capital's research institutes and private centers, ministries and subordinate institutions, but also partners on the ground interested in the latest technologies.

“During these interactive workshops, soil scientists can master modern methods of modeling and mapping various soil properties, in particular salinity, while practitioners get encouraged to apply best agricultural practices in restoring the fertility of salt-affected soils in Central Asia,” said Makhmud Shaumarov, Regional Project Coordinator, CACILM-2.

The capacity development activities held in Central Asia fits into a broader framework coordinated by FAO, through its Global Soil Partnership (GSP) on the development of the Global Soil Salinity Map (GSSmap). The main objective of the GSSmap is to update the global and country-level information on SAS, lay ground for future periodic monitoring of these soils and produce a country-driven map that provides a global overview on salt-affected areas. This map constitutes the steppingstone to monitor SAS at global level and improve national capacities on SAS management.

For any further information, you may contact Olga Grebennikova (Communication and Outreach Specialist for the Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land Management (CACILM-2) or the GSP Secretariat