Submit or Track your Manuscript LOG-IN

Nature and magnitude of salinity and drainage problems in relation to agricultural development in Pakistan

Nature and magnitude of salinity and drainage problems in relation to agricultural development in Pakistan

M. Bashir Chaudhry (Dr.), M. Alim Mian and M. Rafiq


The salinity and drainage problems have getting undue importance at the expense of improvement of agriculture on good soils occupying about three fourth of irrigated area in our country. The available evidence suggests that these ills have neither taken a heavy toll of good agricultural land nor are they a growing threat. Reconnaissance soil surveys covering the Indus plains have revealed that, country to the general belief; salinity and water logging are not a 'twin menace'. Most of the salt-affected soils were formed un ancient times, much before the recent rise in water table due to seepage from the canal system. The recent high water table conditions have, however produced o salt puff on these soils. The saline soils that have been grouped in five main categories occupy 14.3 million acres in the Indus plains but only 7.8 million acres in the canal command areas. The saline cultivated soils of primary practical importance are of two types: (1) soils with topsoil salinity sodicity occurring in cultivated fields, (2) party reclaimed saline-sodic soils, together occupying about three million areas only. Water logging is a problem of some importance in about 0.7 million acres of non-saline cultivated land only. The SCARP programme has been examined and it has come out that these projects have not met the expected success because they were formulated without proper diagnosis of the problems of salinity and water logging. No doubt some positive results have been achieved but these are largely negated by the sodicity problem caused by low-quality tubewell water. This kind of sodicity is affecting about half of the area irrigated by tubewells. Towards the end, priorities for agricultural development have been suggested, keeping in view the kinds and extent of the saline and waterlogged soils, the vast extent of high-potential but under-utilized agricultural land the economics of water use in the country. The sore need to improve the general standard of farming has been reiterated. It has also been emphasized that the reclamation of saline or waterlogged lands can be done by site-specific measures only. The farmer is the key figure in all programmes of not only improvement in agriculture but also in reclamation of saline land. Therefore, he has to be guided properly and adequately. These objectives cannot be realized without paying due attention to agricultural research and extension services.

To share on other social networks, click on any share button. What are these?

Pakistan Journal of Forestry


Vol. 73, Iss. 1


Click here for more

Subscribe Today

Receive free updates on new articles, opportunities and benefits

Subscribe Unsubscribe