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Prospects of Saline Agriculture in the Arabian Peninsula

Edited by Faisal K. Taha, Shoaib Ismail, Abdullah Jaradat

US $79.95, 2004, 576 pp. ISBN: 1-884940-32-3

Prospects of Saline Agriculture in the Arabian Peninsula

Edited by Faisal K. Taha, Shoaib Ismail, Abdullah Jaradat

US $79.95, 2004, 576 pp. ISBN: 1-884940-32-3

This Proceedings presents a comprehensive review of the prospects for saline agriculture in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. In the six Gulf Cooperation Council counties of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, only 170 – 200 cubic meters of renewable water resources are available per person per year. This is less than 3 percent of the global average.

Nevertheless, agriculture still consumes the largest proportion of the freshwater in the region. The withdrawal for irrigation in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries is 85 percent. Only 15 percent is used for domestic and industrial purposes.

Unfortunately the use of freshwater for agriculture per person is higher in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries than the global use per person because of the aridity and high summer temperatures over much of the region. Thus, irrigation in agriculture assumes a greater significance. Even in areas where the environmental conditions preclude intensive agriculture, there is a growing demand for water in horticulture and landscaping. In the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the area planted to horticultural crops increases by 12 – 15 percent per annum form 1980 to 1999.

Hence, saline agriculture will become increasingly important because, in the Arabian Peninsula, water resources will be exhausted within the next 20 years unless consumption of fresh water is reduced.

Recent advances in biosaline agriculture and salt-tolerant crops now merit assessment of saline water resources and their potential for agricultural use. Moreover, there have been rapid advances around the world in the use of saline water for irrigation, including development of irrigation systems, improved water management and control of salinity within the root zone.

Biosaline agriculture technologies use salty water productively. Plants that tolerate salt in water and soil are being evaluated for productive use, perhaps replacing varieties that will only grow in sweet soil irrigated by fresh water. If economically useful plants are grown with salty water on saline land, more food and feed can be made available globally and land abandoned because the soil has become saline can be put to economic and sustainable agricultural use. Making the use of saline water for agriculture will relive pressure on the scarce freshwater resources.

This Proceedings is therefore timely and makes an important contribution to furthering the development of agriculture using saline water. The papers will proved and invaluable reference and source of information.

Thanks and appreciation are extended to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), in the United Arab Emirates for their support for the Symposium and this Proceedings.

Dr. Mohammad Al-Attar

Chairman, Board of Directors, and Director General International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA)

Table of Contents 


  • The Challenge of Salinity in Central and West Asia and North Africa: Strategies and Solutions, Adel El-Beltagy


Part 1: Prospects for Saline Agriculture in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries


  • Prospects for Biosaline Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed Abdullah and Bassam A. Hasbini

  • Agricultural Production in Bahrain Using Saline Water, Hussein Al-Laith


Part 2: Saline Agriculture and Agro-ecological Characterization


  • UNESCO/MAB’s Actions for Sustainable Land Use in Dry Regions, Miguel Clüsener-Godt

  • Agroecological Characterization for Salinity Assessment in the Dry Areas, Eddy De Pauw

  • Mapping Soil Salinity Using global Positions and Geographical Information Systems: Map Projections and Spatial Estimation, A.M. El Prince and A.H. Al Saeedi

  • Collection and Evaluation of Yemeni Crop Landraces for Salt Tolerance, Amin Al Hakimi

  • Research History of Salt - Affected Lands if Iran Present and Future Prospects: Halophytic Ecosystem, P.R. Moghaddam and A. Koocheki


Part 3: Salt Tolerant Plants and Utilization


  • Halophyte Development in the Arabian Peninsular - Current Research Prospects, Benno Böer

  • Sal Tolerance in Aegilops Species: A Success Story form Research and Production to Large-Scale Utilization of Salt Tolerant Wheats, Shafqat Farooq

  • Utilization of Halophytes of Salinity Mitigation in Arid Lands, M.C. Harrouni, S. Daoud and M. Clüsener-Godt

  • Integrated and Advanced Approaches to Crop Tolerance to Poor Quality Irrigation in Egypt, A.Z. El-Bably

  • Molecular Aspects of Osmotic Stresses, K. Razavi, S. Mohsen-Zadeh and M.A. Malboobi

  • Potential Genetic Resources of Prospective Arable Saudi Arabian Halophytes, T.A. Al-Turki, A. Ghafoor and K. Swarupanadan

  • Different Responses of Indigenous Rangeland Forage Species to Salinity, Saleem K. Nadaf, Saif A. Al-Khamisi and Ali H. Al-Lawati

  • Biomass Production and Ion Composition of Some Halophytes Irrigated with Different Seawater Dilutions, S. Daoud, M.C. Harrouni and R. Bengueddour 

  • Effects of Water Salinity on Seedling Survival, Growth and Physiology of Grey Mangrove  (Avicennia marina) in the United Arab Emirates, Najamuddin R. Vistro and Amrita G. de Soyza


Part 4: Management of Saline Water and Soils and Development of Appropriate Sustainable Production Systems


  • Conjunctive Use of Irrigation and Shallow Groundwater: Strategy to Cope with Salinity and Water Scarcity, Arys-Turkestan Study, Fawzi Karajeh

  • Management of Saline Water and Soils for Sustainable Production Systems: The Case of Tunisia, Mohamed Hachicha

  • Potential Crop Production Systems Using Saline Irrigation Waters, J.D. Oster and D. Birkle

  • Soil and Water Degradation (Egypt-Case Study), Sayed A. Abd El-Hafez 

  • A Holistic Generic Integrated Approach for Irrigation, Crop and Field Management: The Saltmed Model, R. Ragab

  • Saline Irrigation Management for Sustainable Agriculture, Ali A. AlJaloud and Ghulam Hussain

  • Irrigation System Selection and Management of Irrigation with Brackish/Saline Water, Musa M.Nimah

  • On-farm Management of Brackish Water in Southern Jordan Valley, Artur Vallentin

  • Potential of Forage Shrubs and Grasses for Revegetating Bubyan Island, Kuwait, Samira Omar, Shabbir Shahid, Hanaa Abo-Rezq

  • Some Forage Halophytes as Alternatives for Salinity Affected Waste Lands, Yassin M. Ibrahim

  • Response of Kallar Grass (Leptochola fiscal L.) to Salinity of Irrigation Water, Nasser Al-Khalifah and Osman A. Al-Tahir 

  • Effect of Salinity and K/Na ratio on Seedling Growth and Ion Relations of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa, L.), S.A. Al-Kateeb


Part 5: Institutional And Scientific Profiles of National, Regional, and International R&D Organizations Working in Saline Agriculture


  • Institutional and Scientific Profiles of Organizations Working on Saline Agriculture in Iran, S.A.M. Cheragi

  • Contributions of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research to Biosaline Research and Development, Samira A.S. Omar and Nader Al-Awadhi

  • The International Center for Bioslaine Agriculture (ICBA): Combating Salinity and Developing Sustainable Agriculture, Faisal K. Taha and Mohammad H. Al-Attar 

  • Experience of the Islamic Development Bank in Funding Research and Development, Abderrafia Abdelmouttalib

Part 6: Success Stories in Saline Agriculture: From Research to Production and Development


  • Sea Water Agriculture: The New Challenge, Ali m Magboul 

  • Revegetation of Saline Land for Rehabilitation and Productive Use, Clive V. Malcolm

  • The success of NyPa International as a Saline Agriculture Outlet: Origin, Development and Philosophy, Nicholas P. Yensen

  • Sustainable Utilization of Saline Water in Agriculture Based on Indigenous Knowledge, Amin Alizadeh

  • Success Stories in Saline Agriculture in Pakistan: from Research to Production and Development, P.A. Hollington, Z. Hussain, M.A. Khalown and M. Abdullah

  • History of Research on Salt-Affected Lands of Iran: Present Status and Future Prospects, A. Koocheki and P.R. Moghaddam

  • Salinity-pH Relationships in Calcareous Soils of Oman, Ahmed Al Busaidi

  • Sustainable Use of Salt Affected Soils through Conservation and Evaluation ofIndigenous Desert and other forages in the Arabian Peninsula, J.M. Peacock, A. Dakheel, M.E. Ferguson, G. Al-Hadrami, A. Saleh and I.R. McCann

  • Saline Agriculture in the Cholistan Desert of Pakistan – A Success Story, Muhammad Akram Kahlown and Muhammad Akram

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