FAO SOILS BULLETIN 21 - Calcareous Soils

Table of Contents

report of the
fao/undp regional seminar on
reclamation and management of calcareous soils

cairo, egypt
27 november - 2 december 1972

soil resources development and conservation service
land and water development division

Rome 1973

Cover photograph: Calcareous soil profile showing various forms of calcium carbonate accumulation. (Photo courtesy A. Ruellan.)
First printing 1973
Second printing 1977

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-100276-2

The copyright in this book is vested in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, by any method or process, without written permission from the copyright holder. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction desired, should be addressed to the Director, Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.

© FAO 1973


This Report on the FAO/UNDP Regional Seminar on Reclamation and Management of Calcareous Soils is the third in a series of Reports on seminars held in the Near East covering problems of practical importance to agricultural development, such as amelioration of saline and waterlogged soils and effective use of irrigation water at the farm level.

Realizing the extensive occurrence of calcareous soils in all the countries of the Near East region and their specific characteristics that entail special soil and water management practices, the FAO Land and Water Use Commission felt the need to hold a seminar for the identification of the properties and related problems of calcareous soils as well as to find practical solutions leading to a better utilization of these land resources.

The Seminar succeeded in bringing together senior governmental officers from the region and high level experts to review and discuss recent scientific and technical activities in the field of reclamation and management of calcareous soils. The recommendations adopted by the Seminar did not only call for more research on the identification and utilization of calcareous soils but also for the extension of the available information to the users of these soils.

The implementation of the suggested research activities could be carried out within the framework of the Regional Applied Research Programme for Land and Water Use in the Near East. It is hoped that the technical material included in this Report and the findings of the Seminar will lead to a better understanding of the characteristics and more efficient utilization of the calcareous soils not only in the countries of the Near East but wherever they occur under similar climatic conditions.

Edouard Saouma, Director
Land and Water Development Division
FAO, Rome

This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software and careful manual recorrection. Even if the quality of digitalisation is high, the FAO declines all responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original printed version.

Table of Contents



1. His Excellency Dr. M.M. Elgabaly, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
2. Dr. A.F. Moursi, Deputy Regional Representative of FAO in the Near East
3. Mr. V. Pavicic, Resident Representative of the UNDP in Egypt


1. Morphology and Distribution of Calcareous Soils in the Mediterranean and Desert Regions
2. Distribution of Calcareous Soils in the Near East Region, their Reclamation and Land Use Measures and Achievements
3. Morphology, Mechanical Composition and Formation of Highly Calcareous, Lacustrine Soils in Turkey
4. Nutrient Supply and Availability in Calcareous Soils
5. Response of Crops Grown on Calcareous Soils to Fertilization
6. Some Physical Properties of Highly Calcareous Soils and their Related Management Practices
7. Soil and Water Management Practices for Calcareous Soils
8. Irrigation and Drainage Practices of the Organic Calcareous Soils in the Ghab Project in Syria
9. Reclamation and Management of the Calcareous Soils of Egypt
10. Problems of Regional Interest and Suggested Research Programmes for Calcareous Soils
11. Progress Report on the Regional Applied Research Programme on Land and Water Use in the Near East


1. Afghanistan
2. Cyprus
3. Iran
4. Iraq
5. Jordan
6. Lebanon
7. Libyan Arab Republic
8. Pakistan
9. Qatar
10. Saudi Arabia
11. Somali Democratic Republic
12. Sudan


1. Preliminary Results of Lysimeter Studies on the Dynamics of Calcium in the Irrigated Calcareous Soils of South Lebanon
2. Some Studies on the Calcareous Soils of Egypt
3. Contribution to the Study of Calcareous Soils of Hodna - Central Algeria
4. Calcareous Soils of Bulgaria, their Characteristics, Problems and Improvement


ANNEX 1 - Agenda

ANNEX 2 - List of Participants