Kitchen gardens in Tajikistan: The economic and cultural importance of small-scale private property in a post-soviet society

William Campbell Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

From the earliest days of the Soviet Union, the people of Tajikistan were allowed to have small "kitchen gardens" attached to their homes or in the vicinity of their apartments in which they could augment their diets with fresh food and also keep a milk cow and perhaps chickens. Over time however, families began to produce far more than they needed and would sell the surplus in local markets, along roads, and even in nearby cities-an early example of market-oriented, investment agriculture in Central Asia. By the end of the Soviet era, as much as one third of food sold in the markets was from kitchen gardens. In post-independence Tajikistan, these gardens have allowed families facing civil war, drought, and demodernization to feed themselves and earn some extra income. This paper describes the historic geography, layout and crops of kitchen gardens, and provides quantitative data on the economic importance of these gardens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-703
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Demodernization
  • Kitchen gardens
  • Tajikistan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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