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Question 2 [SR] :
Has the initial effort in rehabilitating salt-affected soils from sea water intrusion been successful?

Fahmuddin Agus:
Natural process have decrease salinity problem, although in the areas with poor drainage/irrigation system, soil surface salt accumulation tended to recur. Prioritizing on rehabilitation of drainage system will have a significant contribution and introduction of salt tolerant varieties will speed up 'regreening' of the affected areas.

Dr. Shabbir Ahmad Shahid:
Yes. Extent of damage is identified, strategies developed - these strategies should be implemented as soon as possible.

Vethaiya Balasubramanian:
In areas of high rainfall (1200 to 2000 mm per annum), the salt level has come down (soil EC < 4 water EC < 2) below toxic level after a few showers. Leaching out the salts by rains was easy in light textured soils which are common in coastal areas. In heave clay soils affected by salt water intrusion, the salt problem may be lingering. Saline tolerant rice varieties are available for planting in many countries. What we need is to build the soil fertility with organic manures including green manures and then applying balanced levels of nutrients to enhance crop productivity. Rice is the best first crop for saline soils and it can be followed by other crops once salt have been leached out.

Perfecto P. Evangelista:
As to rehabilitation of salt-affected soils, yes we are successful; with the availability of irrigation water the unwanted salt is being flushed and leached. Also the use of salt-tolerant rice varieties coupled with appropriate fertilization of the combination of organic and inorganic fertilizers is being done. Adjustment of the planting calendar is also being done to time the most sensitive stage of crop growth and development so as not to coincide with the deleterious occurrence of salinity. For areas with severe salinity we are utilizing it for brackish fishponds.

Prof. Machito Mihara:
The discussion among experts coming from various regions is the most important. We can integrate our knowledge and experiences in the discussion.

Boonrak Patanakanog:
The initial effort in rehabilitating salt-affected soils from sea water intrusion has not been successful yet. The goverment agency has given salt-affected soil as low priority because salt-affected areas mainly are not agriculture land.

Lalita Siriwattananon:
I really agree with it (the idea of setting up an informal expert network), and it looks interesting as we can share experiences and knowledge to support efforts on facing soil reclamation problems.

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