Kyzylorda region has 85% of its land affected by salinization, FAO reports

Kyzylorda region has 85% of its land affected by salinization, FAO reports

Nearly 85% of Kazakhstan's major agricultural regions are affected by salinisation, the World of NAN reports.

Salinization is a worldwide problem, especially acute in semi-arid areas. Kyzylorda Region is one such area because of the desiccation of the Aral Sea. Agricultural land in the region requires close attention, as such FAO has created a map of soil salinity in the region.

When compiling the maps, the soil input data for Kyzylorda Region included 2,600 profile plots which were surveyed from 2004 to 2019 at soil depths from 0 to 30 cm. Soil data includes multispectral remote sensing images, remotely sensed digital elevation model (DEM), and land cover type maps, geology, and average annual precipitation.

"Salinity maps can provide scientists, decision-makers at all levels and farmers with valuable, timely information on the state of natural resources and the environment," said Zhanyl Bozayeva, FAO project manager in Kazakhstan.

It is worth noting that the maps allow us to see the real situation of the soil and allocate resources and efforts accordingly to restore the vital national resource.

Today, in partnership with local authorities, research institutes and the Ministry of Agriculture, online training on the use of innovative approaches and biotechnology to restore the fertility of agricultural land is already being conducted, and areas under salt- and drought-resistant crops are consistently expanded.

If in 2020 five hectares were under such crops, in 2021 the area increased to 100 hectares.

The FAO noted that last year a map of salinity in Zhambyl region was completed, and this year it is planned to make a map of salinity in the Pavlodar region.

In the figure the degree of soil salinity is shown on a 5-point scale: <0.25 - not saline (green), 0.25-0.5 - slightly saline (brown), 0.5-1.0 - medium saline (crimson), 1.0-2.0 - strongly saline (red) and 2.0 and above - saline (maroon).

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