Friday 24 August 2018

Utilization of Degraded Saline Habitats and Poor-quality Waters for Livelihood Security: (SJFN) - Lupine Publishers

Utilization of Degraded Saline Habitats and Poor-quality Waters for Livelihood Security by JC Dagar* in Scholarly Journal of Food and Nutrition (SJFN) in Lupine Publishers

The world population is estimated to cross 7.6 billion and to develop agricultural strategies to feed all people represents as one of the biggest challenges of this century. We have limited land and water resources; therefore need to develop all these resources carefully. Nearly one billion hectares of arid and semiarid areas of the world is salt affected and remains barren. These soils are universally low in fertility and not suitable for conventional agricultural use. Irrigation without adequate drainage is leading to water logging and secondary salinization. Further, in most of these regions, the groundwater aquifers are saline. Usually cultivation of conventional arable crops with saline irrigation has not been sustainable. To bring these wastelands under sustainable productive system and use poor quality waters judiciously in agriculture, we need to evolve innovative technologies and domesticate stress tolerant halophytes of high economic value. Further, saline agroforestry needs to be given preference as salt tolerant forest and fruit trees, forage grasses, medicinal and aromatic and other non conventional crops can be equally remunerative. In coastal areas, mangrove based aquaculture needs to be developed. The littoral vegetation not only protects the shores and provides wood for fuel, fodder, thatching material, and honey for coastal population but also creates substratum, which provides shelter to a variety of animals. The ecosystem also helps in fish production and plays a key role in food web. Such uses have additional environmental benefits including carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and biological reclamation. In this write up, some of these aspects have been discussed in brief.

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