Identification, Evaluation, and Domestication of Alternative Crops for Saline Environments
Shoaib Ismail Nanduri Kameswara Rao
05 December 2019
Salinity and associated problems like sodicity, waterlogging, and droughts reportedly lead to about 2000 ha of land to produce lesser amount of crop productivity per day. In order to meet the future food security challenges, not only the physical resources, including marginal lands and poor-quality waters, need to be managed and used more efficiently, but also new and alternative crops that could produce economic yields under the harsh climatic conditions have to be identified and introduced to sustain agricultural production.
It will be imperative to look for neglected and underutilized crops to meet the demand for food, fuel and fiber. In order to introduce and adapt new crops, it is necessary that they are evaluated both at small and large scale to assess them from a sustainability perspective and the whole value chain worked out for their environmental and economic feasibility.
This review describes the full potential of some of the underutilized crops and species under changing climate scenarios and adaptability to marginal environments, especially saline areas. A number of candidate crops, including vegetables, field crops and forages studied for both short- and longer-term productivity under different salinity environments, are described.