top of page



Recultivation of salinised farmland in Central Asia using adapted raw material plants (Kendyr) and textile value creation as an alternative to cotton

07/01/2021 - 06/30/2024

External Funding:
1.614.694,87 €

Partner Countries:
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,

Funding Body:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

KendyrTEX aims to establish a sustainable textile alternative to cotton based on Kendyr (Apocynum venetum L.) with particular relevance for Central Asia.

Central Asia has been one of the world's most important cotton producers since the 1950s. Cotton production has not only contributed significantly to the increasing scarcity of water resources in the region, but also caused large-scale secondary salinisation of farmland. In light of declining and more seasonally available water supplies – a consequence of climate change – coupled with widespread degradation of agricultural land, Central Asia's area under cotton cultivation has decreased by more than half since 2007, the trend continuously declining. The region's governments have recognised the problem and are supporting the search for alternative land management options that allow for crop production on degraded farmland as well as for less polluting raw materials that can supply regional industries.

Kendyr, a fibre plant rich in tradition, is able to grow productively on saline soils and with significantly lower irrigation requirements than cotton – which makes it predestined for the sustainable (re-)cultivation of degraded or marginal agricultural land without competing with food production.

Successful production of a kendyr fibre quality that is comparable to cotton would mean that the fibres can be processed on classic cotton-fitted textile machines. Together with the development of efficient, climate- and location-adapted cultivation and harvesting methods, this will introduce an additional raw fibre material for the growing market of textile products, the local processing of which is expected to have positive economic effects on site in Central Asia. In addition to the ecological and economic potential for the Central Asian region, there are economic perspectives for the German agricultural and textile machinery industry, complemented by the growing demand for innovative and sustainable raw material alternatives within the German textile industry.

  • Sachsen-Leinen e. V. (Coordinator) 

  • Fachgruppe Geoökologie am Institut für Geowissenschaften und Geographie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

  • Hanffaser Uckermark eG, Prenzlau

  • Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V., Potsdam

  • Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. (STFI), Chemnitz

  • hessnatur Stiftung

  • Hempage AG (associated)

  • VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co. KG (associated)

  • World Agroforestry (ICRAF) Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan

  • TOO Kazhemp, Kazakhstan

  • Tobinamcell LLC, Uzbekistan

  • Technical University Almaty, Kazakhstan

  • Kazakh National University – Al Farabi

  • Kazakh National Agrarian University

  • International Innovation Center for the Aral Sea Basin under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

  • International Fund for saving the Aral Sea, Kazakhstan



M.Sc. Lovis Kneisel

bottom of page