Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 5, Issue 2,2007
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

The mitigation challenge of salt affected soils in Pakistan


Muhammad Irshad 1*, Mitsuhiro Inoue 1, Muhammad Ashraf 2, Zahoor Ahmad 2, Faridullah 2

Recieved Date: 2007-01-18, Accepted Date: 2007-04-08


The constraints on the availability and quality of land and water coupled with increasing degradation of natural resources are the major challenges of Pakistan. The development of sustainable land-use system must be emphasized to address these emerging challenges. Soil salinity, sodicity and waterlogging are amongst the significant land problems not only causing desertification but also possessing greater economic and social consequences. Since the location of Pakistan is in the arid and semi-arid zone, therefore, high evapotranspiration rate is the basic cause of salt accumulation in soils. Presently more than 6 million hectares of land are salt-affected. The issue is particularly related to the vast irrigation system in the country. The intensive use of surface irrigation has altered the hydrological balance of the irrigated areas. Mismanagement, incorrect irrigation and lack of drainage have resulted further salt accumulation in the soils. Thus there is a major imbalance in the amount of salt entering and leaving the soils. The magnitude of the problem can be ascertained from the fact that the productive land is being degraded by salinity at an alarming rate of about 0.02~0.04 million hectares annually. Remedial measures are being considered seriously by the people. Large number of projects has been launched on this aspect. The modified hydrological approach in conjunction with the chemical and biological reclamation would essentially manage salt-affected soils. Integrated efforts are needed to effectively mitigate salt-affected soils for perpetual productivity. For this purpose, public participation and the encouragement of non-governmental agencies is absolutely imperative. This paper discusses the nature and causes of soil salinization and reviews options available for improved utilization and management of saline lands in Pakistan.


Salinization, waterlogging, Pakistan, irrigation system, causes, remedies

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2007
Volume: 5
Issue: 2
Category: Environment
Pages: 280-283

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