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Duck pond in Jelondi village.

AKDN / Dr. Saidmir Shomansurov

Results demonstrated that vegetables can grow at high altitudes using geothermal heating. In the 50 square metres-sized greenhouse in Jelondi village, nearly 700 kilogrammes of vegetables were produced over four months, despite harsh environmental conditions. Research findings revealed that while this can provide a good source of fresh nutritious food for families, it can also increase income to support families.

As part of this project, a small poultry farm was also established in Jelondi village in November 2019, to raise ducks using geothermal heating in a pond. The initial result was encouraging as the birds achieved substantial growth and body weight within one and a half months. Findings suggested that with an investment of 2,130 Tajik somoni to purchase ducklings and feed for one year, a family can earn 1,880 Tajik somoni in net income from poultry farming and see increased growth each year. This is considered a sizable amount, and can contribute to improved rural livelihoods and food security.

“Our research is ongoing through 2020. Preliminary findings reveal that the available geothermal resources of hot water springs in high altitude areas of GBAO have great potential to assist in producing food at minimum costs year-round,” noted Aziz Ali. “Geothermal energy is nature’s free gift, and with proper use, can help increase food production and support rural livelihoods across mountain communities in Central Asia.”

This text is adapted from an article first published on the UCA website.