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Iraq Salinity Assessment

The Iraq Salinity Assessment presents the evidence produced by the research team into an   overview of options for managing and reducing soil and river salinity in central and south Iraq. New perspectives and findings on the current status of salinity problems are presented in these reports.

 The Assessment provides evidence on how to reduce the negative effects of salinity in the country. It proposes strategies to improve the livelihoods of rural communities and smallholder farmers, who are put at risk due to salinity on their lands. Thus, the Assessment synthesizes research findings into three reports-a situation analysis (Assessment Report 1), approaches and solutions (Report 2) and investment options (Report 3).

A number of practical solutions to the country’s problem are addressed in this research. They include: rehabilitation of irrigation systems and salt affected lands; the use of new salt tolerant crop varieties; spreading salinity innovations and practices created by farmers who have found solutions to farm on their salt affected lands; and in severely affected areas where rehabilitation will be impractical shifting from food to livestock production. In this context, it is important to define land capability from the perspective of existing crops and new salt-tolerant genotypes of the existing crops.

This new body of information can be used by the government of Iraq, donors and international development programs to design action plans and control salinity in Iraq’s agricultural sector. A number of programs are supporting infrastructure development in Iraq today. Likewise, an investment in a national salinity management program- that addresses the critical issue of salinity’s effect on Iraq’s food production system-will provide valuable long-term support to the country’s growth.

Other countries in the world’s dry areas with salinity problems will find these results useful to manage salinity.