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Crops and Cropping Sequences for Harnessing Productivity Potential of Sodic Soils

  • Y. P. SinghEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

It is conjectured that about 1.2 billion ha of land around the world are affected with different levels of salinity. In India, about 6.7 million ha of land are affected by salt, including salinity and sodicity. Of this, about 3.77 million ha of land is affected specifically by sodicity. After reclamation of these soils, rice is recommended as a first crop due to certain adaptive traits. However, complementing the reclamation intervention with salt-tolerant high-yielding and acceptable rice varieties holds great promise and has delivered many dividends and impact under such conditions. Developing varieties that are suitable for specific environments is one of the major challenges for improving food security in rural resource poor communities. Thus, breeding rice plants for adaptation to salt stress situations has been proved to be an economically feasible and environmentally viable plant-based approach. There are a large number of rice varieties that are grown from coastal to inland saline and sodic ecosystems. Varieties suitable for one ecosystem may or may not be suitable for other ecosystems. Since the ecology of salt-affected environments differs from one area to another, it is imperative to develop cultivars that are adapted to specific environments. Farmers’ continued cultivation of traditional low-yielding rice varieties is due to the non-availability of improved salt-tolerant varieties. Plant breeders often consider yield, flowering duration, height and the ability to withstand salt stress as important traits while developing new varieties. However, farmers prefer other traits such as higher straw yield, suitable plant height, threshability, earliness, grain quality and disease resistance. Farmer’s participatory varietal selection (FPVS) approach adopted for developing salt-tolerant varieties has been proven to be an effective approach in harnessing productivity potential of varieties and increasing genetic diversity in crops. Keeping with these advantages as well as fast adoption of selected varieties and farmer-to-farmer seed networks, on-station and on-farm varietal development and dissemination studies were conducted under varying sodic environments in Uttar Pradesh, India, to harness productivity potential of salt-affected soils in the Indo-Gangetic river basin with available technologies. This paper covers the success story of farmer’s participatory varietal development, dissemination and adoption programme initiated at the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Regional Research Station, Lucknow, to enhance production and productivity of rice in the target sodic areas of Indo-Gangetic plains.

Keywords

Salt-affected soils Varietal development Participatory varietal selection Dissemination Adoption 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Regional Research StationLucknowIndia

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