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Socio-economic Features of the Agro-pastoralists in the Zarafshan Valley, NW Tajikistan


  • Avazov, Shakhzod


This paper analyzes the livelihood of the agro-pastoral communities of Western part of Tajikistan, the Zarafshan valley. The data were amassed on current fodder management practices in eighteen villages through households as well as agro-pastoralists and visual observation on local pasture areas. The interviews and discussions yielded more information on the decision-making processes that dehkans (farmers) employ to determine the quantity and composition of feed offered to livestock at particular times of the year. Among the influences to decisions were constraints to grazing and knowledge of appropriate lopping regimes for different animal fodder species. Varying degrees of access to off-farm fodder sources and the numbers of livestock kept by different households were also seen to affect fodder management decisions. Development activities aimed at labour use to fodder collection and the exchange of local knowledge regarding local fodder management are most likely to result in improvements in the levels of fodder supply for the majority of households in the short term. The variations were discussed within site-specific dehkan groups and between group representatives at a series of workshops. According to the results, stable type, number of cattle, size of cultivated land, labor availability per household, existence of small ruminant flock in the village, and the number of small ruminants were found to be most important factors affecting household economic status. It was concluded that more robust and long-term studies should be conducted using a wider variation in grassland quality to confirm the study findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Avazov, Shakhzod, 2013. "Socio-economic Features of the Agro-pastoralists in the Zarafshan Valley, NW Tajikistan," International Conference and Young Researchers Forum - Natural Resource Use in Central Asia: Institutional Challenges and the Contribution of Capacity Building 159074, University of Giessen (JLU Giessen), Center for International Development and Environmental Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ugidic:159074

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