Salt affected soils have been known to the mankind since time immemorial as these lands have been an integral part of the landscape of arid and the semi-arid regions. The salinity-sodicity problems gained prominence in the post irrigation era because the farmers supposed to get high yields, failed to achieve the same. For many farmers, cultivation became uneconomical, ultimately leading to the abandonment of the land. Although varying figures on the extent and distribution of salt affected soils in India are quoted yet the reconciled estimate made by CSSRI recently put this figure at 6.73 M ha. Compared to the figure given by the institute in 1970, the extent remains almost the same. As such, it appears that during the last 4 decades land reclamation and degradation had the same magnitude. Besides loss in productivity, these lands are an eyesore and have severe eco-environmental problems. The CSSRI, with an all India mandate, gave a real impetus to the reclamation of salt affected soils and use of saline water in the country.
Generating new knowledge and understanding of the processes of reclamation and developing technologies for improving and sustaining productivity of salty land waters.