Enhancing Food Security and Climate Change Resilience in Degraded Land Areas by Resilient Crops and Agroforestry

  • Muhammad SaqibEmail author
  • Javaid Akhtar
  • Ghulam Abbas
  • Ghulam Murtaza
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Land degradation is threatening food security, life quality and climate change resilience of rural communities in many parts of the world. Salinity and sodicity of soil and water, and drought are considered major causes of increasing land degradation. The soil and water problems of these areas vary in intensity and type hence need site specific solutions. These solutions depend on the needs of the farmers and the capability of the farmers to adapt a specific solution. These solutions are the use of stress resistant genotypes of crops, grasses and trees along with different amendments including organic and inorganic. The crops may be grown in slightly degraded areas whereas grasses and trees may be used for moderately to severely degraded areas. A win-win situation can be created in these areas by reversing land degradation through integrating use of crops, grasses, trees and, organic and inorganic amendments. The cultivation of barren lands not only ensures food security but also contributes to the environmental conservation through carbon sequestration and ecological rehabilitation. This chapter discusses the salt-induced land degradation, its causes and potential solutions to profitably utilize these degraded areas for enhancing food security and climate change resilience in these areas on sustainable basis.


Carbon sequestration Climate change resilience Food security Plants Land degradation Salinity 


  1. ADB (2002) Poverty in Pakistan: issues, causes and institutional responses. Asian Development Bank, Manila, PhilippineGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmad R, Chang MH (2002) Salinity control and environmental protection through halophytes. J Drain Water Manag 6:17–25Google Scholar
  3. Alnwick D (1996) Significance of micronutrient deficiencies in developing and industrialized countries. In: Combs GF, Welch RM, Duxbury JM, Uphoff NT, Nesheim MC (eds) Food-based approaches to preventing micronutrient malnutrition. An International Research Agenda, Cornell University, Ithaca, p 68Google Scholar
  4. Barrett-Lennard EG (2002) Restoration of saline land through revegetation. Agric Water Manag 53:213–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barrett-Lennard EG, Malcolm CV (1995) Saltland pastures in Australia: a practical guide. Bulletin 4312, Western Australian Department of Agriculture, South Perth, p 112Google Scholar
  6. Beltran JM, Manzur CL (2005) Overview of salinity problems in the world and FAO strategies to address the problem. In: Proceedings of the international salinity forum. Riverside, California, 25–27 Apr 2005, pp 311–313Google Scholar
  7. Bouwer H (2002) Integrated water management for the 21st century: problems and solutions. J Irrig Drain Eng 28:193–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boyko H (1964) Principles and experiments regarding irrigation with highly saline and seawater without desalinization. Trans New York Acad Sci Ser 2:1087–1102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brownell PF, Crossland CJ (1972) The requirement for sodium as a micronutrient by species having the C4 Dicarboxylic photosynthetic pathway. Plant Physiol 49:794–797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Corbishley J, Pearce D (2007) Growing trees on salt-affected land. ACIAR impact assessment series report No. 51. ACIAR, Centre for International Economics, Canberra, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  11. Essa M (2004) Household income and natural forest conservation by agroforestry: an analysis based on two agro-ecological zones: Bagrot and Jalalabad in Northern Pakistan. M. Sc. thesis. Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  12. Evans DO, Macklin B (1990) Perennial sesbania production and use: a manual of practical information for extension agents and development workers. Nitrogen Fixing Tree Association, Waimanalo, Hawaii, USA, 41 pGoogle Scholar
  13. FAO (2010) The state of food insecurity in the world—addressing food insecurity in protracted crises. FAO, Rome, p 62.
  14. Fisher MJ, Skerman PJ (1986) Salt tolerant forage plants for summer rainfall areas. Reclam Reveg Res 5:263–284Google Scholar
  15. Flowers TJ, Yeo AR (1995) Breeding for salinity resistance in crop plants: where next? Aust J Plant Physiol 22:875–884Google Scholar
  16. Flowers TJ, Galal HK, Bromham L (2010) Evolution of halophytes: multiple origins of salt tolerance in land plants. Funct Plant Biol 37:604–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ghafoor A, Murtaza G, Ahmad B, Boers THM (2008) Evaluation of amelioration treatments and economic aspects of using saline-sodic water for rice and wheat production on salt-affected soils under arid land conditions. Irrig Drain 57:424–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gleick PH (2009) Peak water. In: The world’s water 2008–2009. The biennial report on freshwater resources. Island Press, Washington, Covelo, London, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  19. Gordillo-Bastidas E, Díaz-Rizzolo DA, Roura E et al (2016) Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd). From nutritional value to potential health benefits: an integrative review. J Nutr Food Sci 6:497Google Scholar
  20. Grattan SR, Grieve CM (1999) Salinity–mineral nutrient relations in horticultural crops. Scientia Horti 78:127–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gupta RK, Abrol IP (1990) Salt-affected soils: their reclamation and management for crop production. Adv Soil Sci 11:223–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. IDRC (2010) Agriculture and food security program prospectus for 2010–2015. International Development Research Centre, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  23. Jacobsen SE, Sørensen M, Pedersen SM, Weiner J (2015) Using our agrobiodiversity: plant-based solutions to feed the world. Agron Sustain Dev 35:1217–1235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lal R (2001) Potential of desertification control to sequester carbon and mitigate the greenhouse effect. Clim Change 51:35–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lal R (2009) Carbon sequestration in saline soils. J Soil Saline Water Qual 1(1–2):30–40Google Scholar
  26. Latif M, Beg A (2004) Hydrosalinity issues, challenges and options in OIC member states. In: Latif M, Mahmood S, Saeed MM (eds) Proceedings of the international training workshop on hydrosalinity abatement and advance techniques for sustainable irrigated agriculture, Lahore, Pakistan, 20–25 Sep, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  27. Lauchli A, Epstein E (1990) Plant responses to saline and sodic conditions. In: Tanji KK (ed) Agricultural salinity assessment and management, Manuals and reports on engineering practices No. 71. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, pp 112–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lopez-Noriega I, Galluzzi G, Halewood M et al (2012) Flows understress: availability of plant genetic resources in times of climate and policy change. CGIAR research program on climate change, Agriculture and food security (CCAFS) working paper 18. CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  29. Maas EV (1990) Crop salt tolerance. In: Tanji KK (ed) Agricultural salinity assessment and management, Manuals and reports on engineering practices No. 71. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, pp 262–304Google Scholar
  30. Maas EV, Hoffman GJ (1977) Crop salt tolerance-current assessment. J Irrig Drain Div Amer Soc Civil Eng 103:115–134Google Scholar
  31. Malik KA, Aslam Z, Naqvi M (1986) Kallar grass: a plant for saline land. Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology, Faisalabad, Pakistan, p 93Google Scholar
  32. Marcar N, Crawford D, Leppert P et al (1995) Trees for saltland: a guide for selecting native species for Australia. CSIRO, Australia, 72 pGoogle Scholar
  33. Marschner H (2003) Mineral nutrition of higher plants. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  34. Masters DG, Benes SE, Norman HC (2007) Biosaline agriculture for forage and livestock production. Agri Ecosys Environ 119:234–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Menzel U, Lieth H (1999) Halophyte database vers. 2.0. In: Lieth H, Moschenko M, Lohman M, Koyro HW, Hamdy A (eds) Halophyte uses in different climates I: ecological and ecophysiological studies, vol 13. Progress in biometeriology. Backhuys Publishers, The Netherlands, pp 159–258Google Scholar
  36. Munns R (2005) Genes and salt tolerance: bringing them together. New Phyt 167:645–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Munns R, Tester M (2008) Mechanisms of salinity tolerance. Ann Rev Plant Biol 59:651–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Murtaza G (2013) Economic aspects of growing rice and wheat crops on salt-affected soils in the Indus Basin of Pakistan (unpublished data). Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, PakistanGoogle Scholar
  39. Pachauri RK, Reisinger A (eds) (2007) Climate change 2007: synthesis report, contribution of working groups I, II and III to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, p 104Google Scholar
  40. Pandey DN (2007) Multifunctional agroforestry systems in India. Current Sci 92:455–463Google Scholar
  41. Parry M, Evans PM, Rosegrant W, Wheeler T (2009) Climate change and hunger: responding to the challenge. World Food Programme, Rome, p 108Google Scholar
  42. Patra DD, Singh DV (1998) Medicinal and aromatic crops. In: Tyagi NK, Minhas PS (eds) Agricultural salinity management in india. Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, India, pp 499–506Google Scholar
  43. Perveen S (2002) Growth, water and ionic relations in atriplex species under saline and hypoxic conditions. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Soil Science, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, PakistanGoogle Scholar
  44. Postel SL, Daily GC, Ehrlich PR (1996) Human appropriation of renewable fresh water. Science 271:785–788CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Qadir M, Oster JD (2004) Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture. Sci Total Environ 323:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Qadir M, Steffens D, Yan F (2003) Proton release by N2-fixing plant roots: a possible contribution to phytoremediation of calcareous sodic soils. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 166:14–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Qadir M, Tubeileh A, Akhtar J, Larbi A, Minhas PS, Khan MA (2008) Productivity enhancement of salt-affected environments through crop diversification. Land Degrad Develop 19:429–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Qadir M, Quillérou E, Nangia V, Murtaza G, Singh M, Thomas RJ, Drechsel P, Noble AD (2014) Economics of salt-induced land degradation and restoration. Nat Res Forum 38:282–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Qadir M, Noble AD, Karajeh F, George B (2015) Potential business opportunities from saline water and salt-affected land resources. In: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Resource recovery and reuse series, vol 5. CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), Colombo, Sri Lanka, 29 p.
  50. Qureshi RH, Barrett-Lennard EG (1998) Saline agriculture for irrigated land in Pakistan: a handbook. ACIAR, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  51. Qureshi RH, Nawaz S, Mahmood T (1993) Performance of selected tree species under saline-sodic field conditions in Pakistan. In: Lieth H, Masoom AA (eds) Towards the rational use of high salinity tolerant plants, vol 2. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp 259–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Risi C, Galwey NW (1984) The Chenopodium grains of the Andes: Inca crops for modern agriculture. Adv Appl Biol 10:145–216Google Scholar
  53. Rozema J (1996) Biology of halophytes. In: Malcolm CV, Hamdy A, Choukr-Allah R (eds) Halophytes in biosaline agriculture. Marcel Dekker Inc, New York, pp 17–30Google Scholar
  54. Rozema J, Flowers T (2008) Crops for a salinized world. Science 322:1478–1480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rozema J, Schat H (2013) Salt tolerance of halophytes, research questions reviewed in the perspective of saline agriculture. Environ Exp Bot 92:83–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Saqib M, Zörb C, Schubert S (2008) Silicon-mediated improvement in the salt-resistance of wheat (Triticum aestivum) results from increased sodium exclusion and resistance to oxidative stress. Funct Plant Biol 35:633–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Schubert S, Neubert A, Schierholt A, Sümer A, Zörb C (2009) Development of salt-resistant maize hybrids: the combination of physiological strategies using conventional breeding methods. Plant Sci 177:196–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Singh G, Dagar JC (2009) Biosaline agriculture: perspective and opportunities. J Soil Saline Water Qual 1(1–2):41–49Google Scholar
  59. Tomar OS, Minhas PS, Sharma VK, Singh YP, Gupta RK (2003) Performance of 31 tree species and soil conditions in a plantation established with saline irrigation. Forest Ecol Manag 177:333–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Vega-Gálvez A, Miranda M, Vergara J, Uribe E, Puente L, Martinez EA (2010) Nutrition facts and functional potential of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd.), an ancient Andean grain: a review. J Sci Food Agric 90:2541–2547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vyshpolsky F, Qadir M, Karimov A, Mukhamedjanov K, Bekbaev U, Paroda R, Aw-Hassan A, Karajeh F (2008) Enhancing the productivity of high–magnesium soil and water resources through the application of phosphogypsum in Central Asia. Land Deg Develop 19:45–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Yensen NP (2006) Halophyte uses for the twenty-first century and a new hypothesis the role of sodium in C4 physiology. In: Khan MA, Weber DJ (eds) Ecophysiology of high salinity tolerant plants. Springer, The Netherlands, pp 367–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zekri S, Al-Rawahy SA, Naifer A (2010) Socio-economic considerations of salinity: descriptive statistics of the Batinah sampled farms. In: Mushtaque A, Al-Rawahi SA, Hussain N (eds) Monograph on management of salt-affected soils and water for sustainable agriculture. Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, pp 99–113Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Saqib
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Javaid Akhtar
    • 1
  • Ghulam Abbas
    • 3
  • Ghulam Murtaza
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Institute of Plant NutritionJustus-Liebig UniversityGiessenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ScienceCOMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari CampusVehariPakistan

Personalised recommendations