Multifunctional Agroforestry Systems for Bio-amelioration of Salt-Affected Soils

  • Y. P. SinghEmail author


About 340 million ha to 1.2 billion ha land worldwide is salt-affected. A large part of these salt-affected soils are suited for agricultural production but are unexploited because of salinity/sodicity and other soil and water-related problems. In India salt-affected soils occupy about 6.73 million hectares. Indo-Gangetic plains that lie between 21°55′–32° 39′N and 73°45′–88°25′E comprising of the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and part of Bihar (North), West Bengal (south) and Rajasthan (north) have about 2.7 million hectare salt-affected soils. Majority of these lands is treated as wastelands as their productivity is low due to soil-based constraints. As no additional resources are available for horizontal expansion of agriculture, we need to find out viable technologies for utilization of existing land resources including degraded wastelands in order to meet the future requirement of food, fodder, timber and fuel. There is a need to revegetate these wastelands and prevent their further degradation. Growing of multifunctional agroforestry tree species which is a widespread alternate land use adaptation may support the restoration of these lands and potentially support livelihood improvement of resource poor farmers through simultaneous production of food, fodder and firewood as well as mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Trees growing in combination to agriculture as well as numerous other vegetation management regimes in salt-affected soils can be integrated to take advantage of services provided by adjacent natural, seminatural or restored ecosystems. This paper presented the contribution of agroforestry systems as a potential option for (1) restoring salt-affected soils, (2) mitigating climate change, (3) enhancing the fertility status of soil, (4) producing biomass and bioenergy and (5) providing social and economic well-being of the people.


Salt-affected soils Multifunctional tree species Multifunctional agroforestry systems Bio-amelioration Livelihood security Climate change 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

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