Reclamation of Salt-Affected Soils: Socioeconomic Impact Assessment

  • K. Thimmappa
  • D. K. Sharma
  • J. C. Dagar
  • R. Raju


Salt-induced land degradation is adversely affecting the productivity of crop land with far-reaching and undesirable socioeconomic consequences to millions of people living in the salt-affected regions of India. The problems of soil salinity, alkalinity, waterlogging, and poor-quality waters are likely to increase in future due to planned expansion in irrigated area and non-judicious use of natural resources to meet food, fodder, fiber, and timber demand of the burgeoning human and livestock populations. Currently, India is losing annually around 17 million Mg of farm production valued at ₹230 billion from salt-affected soils. The severity of soil degradation problem received the attention of researchers, policy makers, and development agencies. Economically viable technologies are available to ameliorate the salt-affected soils. Over the past few decades, with the support of agricultural scientists, World Bank, European Union, and other developmental agencies, India has reclaimed 2.08 Mha salt-affected lands, which contributed enormous socioeconomic benefits and livelihood security to millions of resource-poor farmers living in the salt-affected regions.


Land Reclamation Farm Household Soil Sodicity Subsurface Drainage Monetary Loss 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abrol IP, Bhumbla DR (1979) Crop response to differential gypsum application in a highly sodic soil and tolerance of several crops to exchangeable sodium to under field conditions. Soil Sci 127:79–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asian Development Bank (2000) Rural Asia: beyond the green revolution. Asia Development Bank, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines ( Scholar
  3. Chhabra R (1996) Soil salinity and water quality. Oxford and IBH Publication, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  4. Chhabra R (2002) Salt-affected soils and their management for sustainable rice production - key management issues: a review. Agric Rev 23:110–126Google Scholar
  5. Chhabra R, Abrol IP (1977) Reclaiming effect of rice grown in sodic soils. Soil Sci 124:49–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chhabra R, Singh A, Abrol IP (1980) Fluorine in sodic soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44:33–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chinnappa B (2005) An economic analysis of land reclamation technologies for amelioration of irrigation-induced soil degradation. Agric Econ Res Rev 18:103–116Google Scholar
  8. Chinnappa B, Nagaraj N (2006) Equity issues relating to irrigation-induced soil degradation under left bank canal of Tungabhadra project area, Karnataka. Agric Econ Res Rev 19:121–128Google Scholar
  9. Chinnappa B, Nagaraj N (2007) An economic analysis of public interventions for amelioration of irrigation-induced soil degradation. Agric Econ Res Rev 20:375–384Google Scholar
  10. Chopra K (1989) Land degradation: dimensions and causalities. Indian J Agric Econ 44:45–54Google Scholar
  11. CSSRI (2011) CSSRI vision 2030. Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, KarnalGoogle Scholar
  12. Curtin D, Naidu R (1998) Fertility constraints to plant production. In: Sumner ME, Naidu R (eds) Sodic soil: distribution. Management and environmental consequences. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 107–123Google Scholar
  13. Datta KK (1995) Socio-economic viability of agricultural land drainage for managing saline and waterlogged soils. In: Rao KVGK, Agarwal MC, Singh OP, Oosterbaan RJ (eds) Reclamation and management of waterlogged saline soils. National Seminar Proceedings. CSSRI, KarnalGoogle Scholar
  14. Datta KK, de Jong, Rajashekarappa MT (2004a) Implications of land degradation on crop productivity: some evidences from saline areas of North–India. Indian J Agric Econ 59:151–163Google Scholar
  15. Datta KK, Tewari L, Joshi PK (2004b) Impact of subsurface drainage on improvement of crop production and farm income in north-west India. Irrig Drain Syst 18:43–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Diao X, Hazell P, Resnick D, Thurlow J (2007) The role of agriculture in development: Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa, Research report 153. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. Dregne H, Kassas M, Razanov B (1991) A new assessment of the world status of desertification. Desertification control bulletin no. 20: 6–18. United Nations Environment ProgramGoogle Scholar
  18. Dwivedi RS, Qadar A (2011) Effect of sodicity on physiological traits. In: Sharma DK, Rathore RS, Nayak AK, Mishra VK (eds) Sustainable management of sodic lands. Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Regional Research Station, LucknowGoogle Scholar
  19. FAO (2003) Trade and food security: conceptualizing the linkages. Commodities and Trade Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  20. Fatemeh R, Pouya AK, Karimian N (2013) Wheat yield and physico-chemical properties of a sodic soil from semi-arid area of Iran as affected by applied gypsum. Geoderma 193–194:246–255Google Scholar
  21. Ghassemi F, Jakeman AJ, Nix HA (1995) Salinization of land and water resources: human causes, extent. Management and case studies. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  22. Grattan SR, Grieve CM (1999) Salinity–mineral nutrient relations in horticultural crops. Sci Hortic 78:127–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Guan B, Zhou D, Zhang H, Tian Y, Japhet W, Wang P (2009) Germination responses of Medicago ruthenica seeds to salinity, sodicity, and temperature. J Arid Environ 73:135–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hazell P, Lawrence H (2001) Agricultural research and poverty reduction. Food, agriculture, and the environment, Discussion Paper 34. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  25. IIASA, FAO (2012) Global Agro-Ecological Zones model documentation (GAEZ v. 3.0). International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis & Food and Agricultural Organization, LaxenburgGoogle Scholar
  26. Joshi PK (1983) Benefit cost analysis of alkali land reclamation technology: an ex-post evaluation. Agric Situat India 38:467–470Google Scholar
  27. Joshi PK (1987) Effect of surface irrigation on land degradation: problems and strategies. Indian J Agric Econ 42:417–420Google Scholar
  28. Joshi PK, Agnihotri AK (1982) Impact of input subsidy on income and equity under land reclamation. Indian J Agric Econ 38:252–260Google Scholar
  29. Joshi PK, Jha D (1991) Farm-level effects of soil degradation in Sharada Sahayak irrigation project. Working paper on future growth in Indian agriculture no. 1, ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, India, 52ppGoogle Scholar
  30. Joshi PK, Singh NT (1990) Economics of rehabilitating alkali soils of the Indo-Gangetic plains, Yojana, pp 20–23Google Scholar
  31. Kumar P (1998) Food demand and supply projections for India. Agricultural economics policy paper 98–01. Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  32. Kumar P, Joshi PK, Pratap SB (2009) Demand projections for foodgrains in India. Agric Econ Res Rev 22:237–243Google Scholar
  33. Maas EV, Grieve CM (1990) Spike and leaf development in salt-stressed wheat. Crop Sci 30:1309–1313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mandal S, Datta KK, Dayal B, Minhas PS, Chauhan CPS (2005) Resource use efficiency in saline irrigated environment. Indian J Agric Econ 60:494–509Google Scholar
  35. Mandal AK, Sharma RC, Singh G, Dagar JC (2010) Computerized database on salt affected soils in India, Technical bulletin 2/2010. Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, 28pGoogle Scholar
  36. Mareda M, Pingali P (2001) Environmental impacts of productivity-enhancing crop research: a critical review. TAC Secretariat, FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  37. Mathew EK (2004) Adaptability constraints of a technically and economically feasible subsurface drainage system in the low-lying acid sulphate soils of Kerala, India. Irrig Drain Syst 18:329–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Naidu R, Rengasamy P (1993) Ion interactions and constraints to plant nutrition in Australian sodic soils. Aust J Soil Res 31:801–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. NSSO (2000) Consumption of some important commodities in India. Report Number 461, NSS 55th Round, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of IndiaGoogle Scholar
  40. NSSO (2010) Household consumer expenditure across socio-economic groups. Report Number 544, NSS 66th Round, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of IndiaGoogle Scholar
  41. Oldeman LR, Van Engelen VWP, Pulles JHM (1991) The extent of human-induced soil degradation. In: Oldeman LR, Hakkeling RTA, Sombroek WG (eds) World Map of the status of human-induced soil degradation: an explanatory note. International Soil Reference and Information Centre, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  42. Oster JD, Jayawardane NS (1998) Agricultural management of sodic soils. In: Sumner ME, Naidu R (eds) Sodic soil: distribution. Management and environmental consequences. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 126–147Google Scholar
  43. Parida AK, Das AB (2005) Salt tolerance and salinity effects on plants: a review. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 60:324–349CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Thiruchelvam, Pathmarajah (1999) An economic analysis of salinity problems in the Mahaweli irrigation scheme in Sri Lanka. EEPSEA report, Sri LankaGoogle Scholar
  45. Pingali P (2006) Agricultural growth and economic development: a view through the globalization lens, Presidential Address to the 26th International Conference of Agricultural Economists, Gold Coast, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  46. PMSEIC (1999) Dryland Salinity and its Impact on Rural Industries and the Landscape. Report by Prime Minister’s Science. Engineering and Innovation Council, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  47. Qadar A (1998) Alleviation of sodicity stress on rice genotypes by phosphorus fertilization. Plant Soil 203:269–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Qadir M, Schubert S, Ghafoor A, Murtaza G (2001) Amelioration strategies for sodic soils: a review. Land Degrad Dev 12:357–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Qadir M, Quillerou E, Nangia G, Murtaza M, Singh RJ, Thomas P (2014) Economics of salt-induced land degradation and restoration. Nat Resour Forum 38:282–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Radhakrishna R, Ravi C (1990) Food demand projections for India. Centre for Economic and Social Studies, HyderabadGoogle Scholar
  51. Rasouli F, Ali KP, Karimian N (2013) Wheat yield and physico-chemical properties of a sodic soil from semi-arid area of Iran as affected by applied gypsum. Geoderma 193–194:246–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ritzema HP, Satyanarayana TV, Raman S, Boonstra J (2008) Subsurface drainage to combat waterlogging and salinity in irrigated lands in India: lessons learned in farmers’ field. Agric Water Manag 95:179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rosegrant M, Hazell P (2000) Transforming the rural Asian economy: the unfinished revolution. Food, agriculture and the environment, 2020 brief 69. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  54. Sharma PK, Sharma SK, Choi IY (2010) Individual and combined effects of waterlogging and sodicity on yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) imposed at three critical stages. Physiol Mol Biol Plants 16:317–320CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. Sharma DK, Thimmppa K, Chinchmalatpure AR, Mandal AK, Yadav RK, Chaudhari SK, Kumar S, Sikka AK (2015) Assessment of production and monetary losses from salt-affected soils in India, Technical bulletin: ICAR-CSSRI/Karnal/Tech. Bulletin/2015/05. ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, KarnalGoogle Scholar
  56. Singh D, Bajaj M (1988) Sodic soils in Uttar Pradesh: a case study of two villages in Hardoi district. Econ Polit Wkly 23:181–187Google Scholar
  57. Singh KN, Ashok K, Sharma DK (1998) Management of problem soils. In: Yadav RL, Singh P, Prasad R, Ahlawat IPS (eds) Fifty years of agronomic research in India. Indian Society of Agronomy, New Delhi, pp 255–270Google Scholar
  58. Swarup A (2004) Chemistry of sodic soils and fertility management. In: Advances in Sodic Land Reclamation. International Conference on Sustainable Management of Sodic Lands held at Lucknow, India during February 9–14, pp 27–52Google Scholar
  59. Thimmappa K, Tripathi RS, Raju R, Singh YP (2013) Livelihood security of resource poor farmers through Alkali land reclamation: an impact analysis. Agric Econ Res Rev 26:139–149Google Scholar
  60. Thimmappa K, Singh YP, Raju R, Kumar S, Tripathi RS, Pal G, Reddy AA (2015a) Reducing farm income losses through land reclamation: a case study from Indo-Gangetic plains. J Soil Salinity Water Qual 7:68–76Google Scholar
  61. Thimmappa K, Tripathi RS, Raju R, Singh YP (2015b) Study on sodic land reclamation progress and constraints in the adoption of technology in Uttar Pradesh, Project report. ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, KarnalGoogle Scholar
  62. Tripathi RS (2009) Alkali land reclamation. Mittal Publications, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  63. Tripathi (2011) Socio-economic impact of reclaiming salt-affected lands in India. J Soil Salinity Water Qual 3:110–126Google Scholar
  64. Tyagi NK (1998) Management of salt affected soils. In: Singh GB, Sharma BR (eds) 50 years of natural resource management research. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, pp 363–401Google Scholar
  65. Van Aste PJA, Wopereisl MCS, Haefelel S, Quid Isselmou M, Kropff MJ (2003) Explaining yield gaps on farmer-identified degraded and non-degraded soils in a Sahelian irrigated rice scheme. Net J Agric Sci 50:277–296Google Scholar
  66. Wang H, Wu Z, Chen Y, Yang C, Shi D (2011) Effects of salt and alkali stresses on growth and ion balance in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Soil Environ 57:286–294Google Scholar
  67. World Bank (2014) India: country snapshot. World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  68. Yadav JSP (1981) Reclamation and crop production in alkali soils. Curr Sci 50:387–393Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Thimmappa
    • 1
  • D. K. Sharma
    • 1
  • J. C. Dagar
    • 1
  • R. Raju
    • 1
  1. 1.ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research InstituteKarnalIndia

Personalised recommendations