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Report of the second meeting of the International Network of Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS) - INSAS-II/23/Report

22–26 May 2023













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    Book (stand-alone)
    Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the International Network of Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS)
    Managing salt-affected soils for a sustainable future
    2023
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    The proceedings of the second meeting of the International Network of Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS) contain the abstracts of the papers presented during the workshop in Tashkent (22–26 May, 2023). The papers provide the up-to-date scientific knowledge and practical solutions for four topics: (1) mapping, assessing and monitoring of salt-affected soils; (2) sustainable management of salt-affected soils: practices and policy; (3) halophyte and saline agriculture and its effect on soil health; (4) integrated soil and water management under saline/sodic conditions. Under the first topic, modern techniques (geophysics, remote sensing, NIR spectroscopy) for mapping and monitroing of salt-affected soils as wel as mapping of environmental susceptibility to soil salinization in dry regions were presented. Under the second topic, different approaches to reclaim saline and sodic soils and improve seed germination including the use of different organic and inorganic amendments, organic biostimulants, biochar and phytoremediation were discussed. Moreover, biodiversity of salt-affected soils and its change along salinity gradient as well as the impact of soil enzymes on the structure and function of soil microbial communities and how soil degradation is associated with specific soil microbiota were reported. Policy gaps on addressing soil salinity were analyzed and further steps how to integrate agenda on SAS into existing agricultural policies were proposed. The results of Participatory Rural Appraisal approach to survey among farmers were provided. Under the third topic, the results on testing different conventional and non-conventional crops in field trials on salt-affected soils irrigated by fresh and saline water were reported. The influence of soil properties on growing halophytes was considered. Under the fourth topic, the ways to optimize the use of poor-quality irrigation water in agriculture were discussed. Some studies reported about the results of modeling of salt and water transport in soils for estimation of leaching requirement or root zone soil salinity. Several studies reported about the negative aspects of using brackish water leading to secondary soil salinization and sodification. For salt-affected areas with groundwater use for irrigation, the approach combining the Food Systems Approach and integrated water resources management was proposed to address the interdependent challenges of food and water security.
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    Thematic 1: Farmers’ guidelines on soil and water management in salt-affected areas 2023
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    The threats posed by salt-affected soils to global food security are dire. According to the recent Global salt-affected soils map, over 424 million hectares of topsoil (0–30 cm) and 833 million hectares of subsoil (30–100 cm) are currently salt-affected. This practical guide to soil and water management in salt-affected areas provides vital information to farmers dealing with salinity and sodicity issues on their farms and assists them in following suggested practices to mitigate or/and to adapt to these unfavourable conditions without compromising further losses in yields.
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    Impact of shrimp farming on arable land and rehabilitation of resultant salt-affected soils/integrated soil management for sustainable use of salt-affected soils 2000
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    The development of agricultural technologies and a better appreciation of the existing but under-utilised knowledge of resource management will be crucial in meeting the ecological needs and in achieving the anticipated food demands of the growing population in the future. The greatest challenge for the coming decades lies in the fact that the production environments are unstable and degrading. Land degradation is proceeding so fast that unless policies and approaches change, many countries will not be able to achieve sustainable agriculture in the foreseeable future. Soil salinization has been identified as a major process of land degradation. The greatest technical causes of decreasing production on many irrigated projects particularly in arid-semi-arid areas, or failure of large areas in rainfed agriculture, are waterlogging, salinization and sodication.

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