The challenge of the food sufficiency through salt tolerant crops

  • Adriana Galvani
Review Paper


This work is focused on deserts, as extreme environments, because the year 2006 has been declared Year of Deserts and Desertification by the United Nations (IYDD Program 2006). The loss of vital resources such as fresh water and soil, and the depletion of biodiversity are emerging hazards, able to transform beneficial situations into extreme environments. Desertification is generated by land degradation: the loss of biological productivity is caused by nature or by human-induced factors and climate change. Nearby the desertification process there is the increasing process of salinisation of soil and water, induced by irrigation itself, or by salt water ingress derived by tsunamis or hurricanes. Increased research on the development of salt-tolerant cultivars could, with appropriate management, result in the broader use of saline soils. Although careful application is necessary, the combination of sand, seawater, sun and salt-tolerant plants presents a valuable opportunity for many developing countries. Cooperation among plant ecologists, plant physiologists, plant breeders, soil scientists, and agricultural engineers could accelerate the development of economic salt tolerant crops. If saline water is available, the introduction of salt tolerant plants in poor regions can improve food or fuel supplies, increase employment, help stem desertification, and contribute to soil reclamation.


2006 Year of Deserts Agronomic resources Demography Genetic manipulation Halophytes Saline lands Saline soils Salt tolerant crops Water management 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geography Researcher, Department of EconomicsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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