The 24th Biennial workshop of AICRP on Management of Salt Affected Soil and Use of Saline Water in Agriculture was organized by ICAR-CSSRI, Karnal in association with AICRP Center, Agra during June 5-7, 2015. ICAR-CIRG, Makhdoom. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. A.K. Sikka, Dy. Director General (NRM), ICAR. In his inaugural address, Dr. Sikka highlighted that secondary salinisation and resodification especially in the irrigation commands, over exploitation of ground water, soil degradation from other processes coupled with climate change are emerging as major issues of concern. Dr. S.S. Khanna, Ex. Advisor, Planning Commission, Govt. of India stressed upon the cultivation of sea weed as a livelihood resource for people in coastal areas. Dr. S.K. Chaudhari, Asst. Director General (SWM), ICAR, dwelled upon the researches being conducted on some harmful elements in water such as fluorides and arsenic and suggested that we should now move forward and develop technologies to reduce their impact on crop yield and quality. He stressed that impact of climate variability in coastal areas should form a part of research agenda for the period 2015-17.
Dr. D.K.Sharma, Director CSSRI and Project Coordinator presented the achievements of the project and apprised that 6.73 M ha area is affected by salinity including coastal and dry land salinity. It entails a loss of about 11 m tones of food grains. He emphasized that stress tolerant varieties, controlled subsurface drainage and conservation agriculture are amongst the main options to combat the climate change effects.
Dr. S.K. Ambast, Director, IIWM, Bhubaneswar stressed upon studies on sea water intrusion, climate change, and protective cultivation.
Dr. S.K. Agarwal, Director, CIRG, Makhdoom informed that the milk production in India has increased from 17 to 134 m tonnes during 1951-2014 and food production from 51 to 264 m tones during the same period. There is a good scope to join hands as both the Institutes are dealing with poor resources.
A Scientist-farmers’ interaction meeting followed wherein farmers raised many issues of concern to them. Problems like lodging of wheat crop even in low rainfall years, attack of termite: a serious problem of the area, installation of subsurface drainage in saline areas, installation of artificial ground water structures, proper method of soil and water sampling and non availability of salt tolerant wheat varieties were raised. While scientists provided technological interventions and suggestions to overcome some of these problems, Director CSSRI, Karnal assured full cooperation of the institute in tackling the emerging problems of the farmers in this region. The session ended with the vote of thanks.
Five technical sessions were organized during the two days. Progress of work of the on-going projects was discussed in three and the research program for the period 2015-2017 was finalized in the two sessions.
About 80 participants from the AICRP and Volunteer centers of the project, CSSRI, Karnal and progressive farmers participated.
(Source: ICAR-CSSRI, Karnal)