Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Is land (re-)allocation in agrarian transitions water grabbing in disguise? The land and water nexus of Tajikistan

The land and water nexus in a transition context: the case of Tajikistan

Project duration:
01.01.2012 - 30.09.2016

A secure water supply for irrigation is an indispensible need in many regions such as Central Asia. Although water is physically abundant in Tajikistan, one challenge is limited access to and allocation of surface water for irrigation. However, the water sector is not the only one challenging agricultural production. Since the breakdown of the Soviet Union, land reform are central to agricultural structural change. As a result, the number of individual farmers increased and so did the number of individual water users. New water regime users amplify competition in water access by gaining informal water access rights via formal land use rights. Considering water rights as a discrete unit of property is misleading, as changes in the water regime can be caused by changes of land users and their rights. Until now research has mostly disregarded the institutional interface of both resources. Therefore, this study aims to: 1) map formal and informal land and water property rights; and 2) analyze the resource nexus. This study relies on farm household survey data as well as qualitative data from focus group discussions conducted in two districts of Tajikistan.