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Using drip irrigation systems in combination with soil mulching with polyethylene film


Title Using drip irrigation systems in combination with soil mulching with polyethylene film
Category of tools Drip irrigation system
Field of application
  • Use of water resources
  • Use of land resources
Usability of practice for adaptation to climate change Moderate
Implemented by K-DEN Farm
Used by

Country: Kazakhstan

Province: Almaty region

District: Alakol District

Settlement: Yntaly Rural District (320 km away from Taldykorgan (region center))

Local specifics

Foothill area

Practice usage period

Start date: 01.01.2008

End date: 31.12.2010

Problem solved through this practice

After disintegration of large agricultural enterprises (state farms), the maintenance of inter- and intra-farm irrigation systems – that were earlier on the balance of state farms – appeared to exceed the technical capacity of small-scale private and owner-operated farms.  Due to this reason, in the majority of agricultural districts the tray irrigation networks got out of order.  The wear of the lion’s share of hydraulic engineering facilities in Alakol District reached nearly 70% leading to water losses associated with crops watering – the analysis showed that 40% of water was lost to filtration and evaporation.  In its turn, that resulted in ineffective and irrational use of water resources and contraction of irrigated land area.  For example, whereas in 2003 water intake for irrigation amounted to 195 mln m3, in 2009 it decreased to 114.8 mln m3 (41.1% drop).

Issue: Low efficiency of irrigation water due to wear of hydraulic engineering facilities/installations (tray irrigation system).

Tools used in the practice

Drip irrigation in combination with soil mulching with polyethylene film

Description of the practice and its results

Drip irrigation combined with filming has been widely adopted around the world in vegetable and cucurbits cultivation.  Thanks to long moisture preservation and proper thermal balance achieved under film, deployment of this technology allows reducing the overall need for irrigation water and receiving earlier and higher crop yields.


The K-DEN Farm was offered to apply drip irrigation through film cover on the area of 5 hectares in Yntaly Rural District.  The technique was adapted for project site by Doctor of Engineering R.I. Vagapov. The recommended technology is the most available to local farmers and ensures significant saving of irrigation water.

Necessary resources:

1) seeds of vegetable and cucurbit crops;

2) polyethylene film;

3) equipment (DT-75 tractor, seeder, cultivator);

4) labor for preparatory works, sowing and harvest campaigns;

5) expert consultations and training.


Financial and economic:

The yield of vegetable and cucurbit crops increased twofold compared to two previous years allowing the farm to receive the profit of $12,000/ha in spite of the fact that the whole yield was sold at low price to the local population of Eastern Kazakhstan and Almaty Regions.  In particular, the productivity of vegetable crops amounted to 350-400 dt/ha, and cucurbits – 400 dt/ha.


Water saving made 220,040 m3.

Lessons learnt and recommendations made

Lessons learnt:

The practice of drip irrigation in combination with the application of polyethylene film has increased the efficiency of water use and crops productivity as well as reduced labor needs.


The widespread deployment of water-saving technologies requires the presence of effective financial incentives for at water consumers.

  • Domestic tools (outcomes of research by domestic R&D organizations),
  • Foreign tools (transfer of foreign experience)
Brief information on the project

Project title: Integrated preservation of globally significant wetlands as dwelling places of migrating birds.

Project duration: May 2008-Sept 2010.

Project goal and objectives: assessment of agro-economic and environmental efficiency of technology of sprinkling irrigation on vegetable crops; establishment of optimum watering regimes for vegetable crops based on mist sprinkling irrigation.

Project beneficiaries: peasants (farmers) and agricultural producers.

Project implementer: K-DEN Farm

Funding source GEF/UNDP, K-DEN Farm
Information sources

K-DEN Farm,

Mr. Afrikan Konstantinovich Kim, farm head

(ph.: +7 701 227 27 49, +7 701 672 85 85)

Form submission date 30.03.2018
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