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Water 2018, 10(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020208

Redrawing Soil Salinity Innovation-Focused Stakeholder Interaction for Sustainable Land Management in Khorezm Province, Uzbekistan

1
International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas, PO Box 4375, Tashkent 100000, Uzbekistan
2
World Agroforestry Centre, United Nations Avenue, Nairobi 30677 00100, Kenya
3
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Fahrenheitstr. 6, Bremen 28359, Germany
4
Institute of Sociology, University of Bremen, Mary-Somerville-Str. 9, Bremen 28359, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 15 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Water Conservation: Dynamics and Impact)
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Abstract

Addressing soil salinity in irrigated drylands is tightly linked with water and land management decisions thus requiring interdisciplinary engagement. The salinity mapping approaches in Central Asia are undertaken through field sampling and laboratory analysis, which is a time consuming process. As a consequence, salinity maps are not available on time to estimate water requirements to cope with varying levels of soil salinity. Reducing the time lag between assessment and delivery of such maps would enable authorities to determine in advance appropriate water volumes for leaching the salts before and during the growing season. Research initiated in Uzbekistan context explored transdisciplinary and participatory approach to innovation development with local stakeholders. As one of the innovations, an electromagnetic induction meter (EM), a tool for rapid salinity assessment, was chosen and jointly with local salinity mapping related institutions tested, validated, and local capacities for its use developed. This paper redraws this process of innovation-focused stakeholder interaction and transdisciplinary research and discusses it with reference to ongoing debates on participatory and/or transdisciplinary innovation research. The existence of strong path dependencies within implementation oriented organizations could be observed, meaning that the innovation demands many changes to the existing system. Furthermore, the encountered challenges of participatory, transdisciplinary research in the hierarchically shaped setting of post-soviet Uzbekistan are illustrated in selected qualitative field notes and assessed. For improved joint learning and research in a transdisciplinary team, feedback cycles of mutual learning and critical reflection of how to theoretically and practically work in a transdisciplinary manner turned out to be crucial and not to be underestimated. View Full-Text
Keywords: transdisciplinary research; Follow-the-Innovation; innovation development; electromagnetic induction meter (EM) transdisciplinary research; Follow-the-Innovation; innovation development; electromagnetic induction meter (EM)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Akramkhanov, A.; Ul Hassan, M.M.; Hornidge, A.-K. Redrawing Soil Salinity Innovation-Focused Stakeholder Interaction for Sustainable Land Management in Khorezm Province, Uzbekistan. Water 2018, 10, 208.

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