Extent of Salt Affected Land in Central Asia: Biosaline Agriculture and Utilization of the Salt-affected Resources
The current status and trends of salinization are discussed with waterlogging of marginal land/plant and water resources problems including strategies for development of integrated biosaline crop-livestock agriculture based system on food-feed crops and forage legumes for better livelihood of poor farmers in Central Asian (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan). Transfer of technologies and/or methodology of ICBA (International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture) in planting of both perennial and annual valuable halophytes (based on around the world dataset from similar sites and conditions) are a new approach that should be tested in Central Asia. Afforestation, as an option to mitigate land degradation, requires a judicious evaluation and selection of multipurpose tree species (MPTS) to make use of marginal unproductive/salt- affected lands and lower the elevated groundwater table (GWT) via biodrainage. The leading among 21 screened native and introduced tree and shrubs species with regards to survival rate, growth characteristics and adaptability to high saline natural environment proved to be Haloxylon apphyllum, Salsola paletzkiana, S. richteri at the saline sandy deserts, followed by atriplex undulate, Hippophae ramnoides, E. angustifolia, Acacia ampliceps, U. pumila, P. euphratica and P. nigra var. pyramidalis, Robinia pseudoacacia, M. alba, Morus nigra on clay loamy hyromorphic soils, whereas fruit species such as Cynadon oblonga, Armeniaca vulgare, Prunus armeniaca and species of genera Malus, though desirable from the farmer's financial viewpoint, showed low bio drainage potential. Planting herbaceous fodder crops within the inter-spaces of fodder salt tolerant trees and shrubs on intensive agro-forestry plantations could solve the animal feeding problem in the degraded (both by overgrazing and salinity) desert and semidesert marginal areas. Yield data of new varieties of sorghum and pearl millet ICBA/ICRISAT germplasm collected at the conclusion of the 2006-2007 growing seasons indicates considerable adaptability of introduced genetic material to saline soil conditions, when compared to local material. Sorghum and pearl millet crop residues utilization could be an option for bio fuel production in the region.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2008|
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