LASER LAND LEVELING FOR CROP YIELD AND WATER EFFICIENCY IN EASTERN AFGHANISTAN
Keywords:Laser land leveling, Land layout improvement, Water saving, Yield increase, Area increase
Herein, the impact of land layout improvement (LLI) and laser land leveling (LL leveling) has been
studied. In Afghanistan, LLI and LL leveling has been undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and
Livestock through an important project On-Farm Water Management (OFWM) in five regions, wherein poor farm
layout and existence of uneven fields, unnecessary bunds, and ditches are responsible for significant water losses
(at the farm level) and yield reduction, thereby increasing water and labor demand. Moreover, irrigation systems
are used to supply water to the highest levels of the fields. However, this practice often leads to over-irrigation and
the reduction of resources and yield. The present field experiments comprised two parts, Farm-A LLI and LL
leveling. Farm-B was the control farm; all other practices were maintained constant in Farm-B except for LLI and
LL leveling. Farm-A was separated into 29 small, even, and appropriately irrigated fields of less than 0.075 ha.
The entire Farm-A area was leveled, and the size of each field increased to 0.19 ha and farm area was enlarged by
(6%). The number of fields decreased from 29 to 12, and the number of water inlets decreased from 39 to only 14.
These reductions showed a decrease in the labor requirements. In the two fields (Farm-A (leveled) and Farm-B
(unleveled)), water demand for the production of wheat, corn, and eggplant decreased by 21%, 27%, and 17%,
whereas the yield increased by 21%, 40%, and 38%, respectively. Furthermore, water productivity increased by
39%, 53%, and 37%, respectively.