Salinity, livelihood and agricultural productivity: A case of Hafizabad District

Arshad Mahmood Malik, Hafiz Muhammad Tayyab, Muhammad Arshad Ullah, Muhammad Talha Bilal


Background: Soil salinity; concentration and or accumulation of salts may pose severe risk on soil productivity and in turn concerned population and farmers. Salt-influenced lands in Pakistan were spread over 6.63 million hectare which is diminishing the agrarian profitability. This study will explore the impact of salinity on livelihood of farmers in district Hafizabad.

Methods: Data of 192 small, medium and large farmers was collected from four randomly selected villages of salinity affected area of Hafizabad district of Punjab province of Pakistan using multistage probability sampling technique. SPSS version 21.0 was utilized to analyze the data for generating logical results.

Results: Farmers belonging to saline area communities were characterized on the basis of their education, experience, cultivated area, and method of irrigation and technological adoption for analyzing their livelihood typologies. Average yield of wheat was found to be 26mnds/acre, while marketable surplus was high for large farmers due to ownership of more area. Livelihood typologies were derived mainly from on-farm and off-farm income activities of the farmers. Agriculture farm earning in the saline area was estimated as Rs. 10 to 12 thousand per acre. Contribution of off-farm income in household cash flows was estimated in 79% of small, medium and large farmer as less than 15000 indicating the dependency status of the households.

Conclusion: Major livelihood source in Salt-affected soils was still agricultural cash inflows beside their contribution to the food basket of consumers. Farmers were in favour of provision of farming inputs on subsidized rates i.e. lime and gypsum as a poverty alleviation strategy in the area for positive promotion of sharing culture with public sector.    

Keywords: Salinity; Livelihood; Productivity; Farming experience; Farm size 

Full Text:



LaBaugh JW, Rosenberry DO, Mushet DM, Neff BP, Nelson RD, Euliss Jr NH. Long-term changes in pond permanence, size, and salinity in Prairie Pothole Region wetlands: The role of groundwater-pond interaction. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, (2018); 17: 1-23.

Rafay M, Abid M, Malik Z, Madnee M, Basit H and Ghaffar MU. Salinity tolerance and phytoremediation of Na+ and K+ ions by using halophytes from Cholistan Rangeland, Pakistan. Agrobiological Records, (2020); 2: 31-37.

Rezvi MR. The Factors of Declining Agricultural Growth in Bangladesh and Its Impact on Food Security. South Asian Journal of Social Studies and Economics, (2018); 1(1): 1-9.

SRDI 2010. Soil salinity in Bangladesh 2000. Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Ali AMS. Rice to Shrimp: Land Use / Land Cover Changes and Soil Degradation in Southwestern Bangladesh. Land Use Policy, (2006); 23(4): 421-435.

Sarwar GM, Khan MH. Sea Level Rise: A Threat to the Coast of Bangladesh. International Asian forum, (2007); 38 (3-4): 375–397.

Machado RMA, Serralheiro RP. Soil salinity: effect on vegetable crop growth. Management practices to prevent and mitigate soil salinization. Horticulturae, (2017); 3(2): 30.

Haque MZ, Saifuzzaman M. Social and environmental effects of shrimp cultivation in Bangladesh: notes on study methods. In: M. Rahman (ed). Globalization, Environmental Crisis and Social Change in Bangladesh. 2003. Dhaka, Bangladesh, UPL.

Miah MY, Mannan MA, Quddus KG, Mahmud MAM, Badia T. Salinity on cultivable land and its effects on crops. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, (2004); 7(8): 1322-1326.

Tanwir F, Saboor A, Newaz N. Soil salinity and the livelihood strategies of small farmers: a case study in Faisalabad District, Punjab, Pakistan. International Journal of Agriculture & Biology, (2003); 5(4); 440-441.

Nguyen HQ, Tran DD, Luan PDMH, Ho LH, Loan VTK, Anh Ngoc PT et al. Socio-ecological resilience of mangrove-shrimp models under various threats exacerbated from salinity intrusion in coastal area of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, (2020): 1-14.

FAO. 2010. FAO land and plant nutrition management service. (accessed 10 Dec. 2010).

Tilman D, Cassman KG, Matson PA, Naylor R, Polasky S. Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature, (2002); 418(6898): 671–677

Hillel D (2000) The salinity management for sustainable irrigation. World Bank, Washington.

Yadav S, Irfan M, Ahmad A, Hayat S. Causes of salinity and plant manifestations to salt stress: a review. Journal of Environmental Biology, (2011); 32(5): 667–685.

Kotuby-Amacher J, Koenig R, Kitchen B (2000) Salinity and plant tolerance. Utah State University, Extension Publication AG-SO03, Logan

Yokoi S, Bressan RB, Hasegawa PM. Salt stress tolerance of plants In: M. Iwanaga, editor, Genetic engineering of crop plants for abiotic stress. 2002. JIRCAS Working Report No. 23. MAFF, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. p. 25–33.

Khanom T. Effect of salinity on food security in the context of interior coast of Bangladesh. Ocean & Coastal Management, (2016); 130: 205-212.

Ashraf M. Biotechnological approach of improving plant salt tolerance using antioxidants as markers. Biotechnology Advances, 2009; 27: 84– 93.

Anonymous. 2007. Economic Survey. Government of Pakistan, Finance Division, Economic Adviser’s Wing, Islamabad, Pakistan

Mahmood IA, Qureshi RH. Nitrogen losses and physiological efficiency of rice influenced by nitrogen sources under saline soil condition. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, (2000); 3(11): 1811-13.

Ali A, Salim M, Ahmad I, Mahmood IA, Zaman B, Sultana A. Nutritional role of calcium on the growth of Brassica napus under saline conditions. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, (2003); 40: 106-113.

Iglesias MCA. A review of recent advances and future challenges in freshwater salinization. Limnetica, (2020); 39(1): 185-211.

Sarfraz M, Qureshi MA, Mehdi SM, Zaka MA, Rizwan M, et al. Management of rice and wheat crops under dual stress of soil and water salinity. International Journal of Biosciences, (2019); 14: 369-377.

Aslam M, Muhammad N, Qureshi RH, Akhtar J, Ahmad Z. 2000. Role of calcium in salinity tolerance of rice. Symposium on Integrated Plant Nutrient Management. November 8-10, 1998, Islamabad.

Irfan M, Alam J, Ahmad I, Ali I, Gul H. Effects of exogenous and foliar applications of Brassinosteroid (BRs) and salt stress on the growth, yield and physiological parameters of Lycopersicon esculentum (Mill.). Plant Science Today, (2017); 4(3): 88-101.

Sandhu GR, Malik KA. Plant succession-a key to the utilisation of saline soils. Nucleus (Karachi), (1975); 12(1-2): 35-38.Sarwar G, Schmeisky H, Hussain N, Malik MA, Manzoor MZ, et al. Impact of compost to produce rice-wheat crops from saline sodic soil. Journal of Pure and Applied Agriculture, (2020); 5(1): 11-19.

Government of Pakistan, 2000. District Cencus Report Hafizabad 1998, Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, 2000

Khan M, Khan W. Socioeconomic and recharge effect on spatial changes in the groundwater chemistry of Punjab, Pakistan: a multivariate statistical approach. SN Applied Sciences, (2020); 2(8): 1-19.

Arshadullah M, Ali A, Hyder SI, Khan AM. Effect of wheat residue incorporation along with N starter dose on rice yield and soil health under saline sodic soil. The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences, (2012); 22(3): 753-757.

Nawaz MQ. Effect of different sowing methods and nitrogen levels on fodder yield of oat in salt affected soil. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research, (2017); 30(4): 323-328.

Mughal MA. Ethnicity, marginalization, and politics: Saraiki identity and the quest for a new Southern Punjab province in Pakistan. Asian Journal of Political Science, (2020): 1-18.

Adaman F, Ozertan G. Perceptions and practices of farmers towards the salinity problem: The case of Harran Plain, Turkey. International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, (2007); 6(4-5): 533-551.

Akter S. Impact of drinking water salinity on children's education: Empirical evidence from coastal Bangladesh. Science of the total environment, (2019); 690: 1331-1341.

Government of Pakistan, (2018). Economic Survey of Pakistan 2017-18, Agriculture, pp 24.

Quiroga E, Husain T, Mian Z (2009). Community development project for the rehabilitation of salt affected and waterlogged lands – bio-saline-ii, Mid-term review (MTR) Islamic Republic of Pakistan United Nations Development Programme Government of Punjab

Ahmad W, Fiaz, M, Ahmad M, Gill KH, Fareed F. Impact of social mobilization efforts on Community Development for Rehabilitation of Salt Affected and Waterlogged lands in Tehsil Sahiwal, District Sargodha. Journal of Agricultural Research, (2009); 47(1): 03681157.

Haider MZ, Hossain MZ. Impact of salinity on livelihood strategies of farmers. Journal of soil science and plant nutrition, (2013); 13(2): 417-431.

Setter TL, Waters I, Stefanova K, Munns R, Barrett-Lennard EG. Salt tolerance, date of flowering and rain affect the productivity of wheat and barley on rainfed saline land. Field Crops Research, (2016); 194: 31-42.

Eshetu F, Mekonnen E. Determinants of off farm income diversification and its effect on rural household poverty in Gamo Gofa Zone, Southern Ethiopia. Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics, (2016); 8(10): 215-227.

Cortez-Arriola J, Rossing WA, Massiotti RDA, Scholberg JM, Groot JC, Tittonell P. Leverages for on-farm innovation from farm typologies? An illustration for family-based dairy farms in north-west Michoacán, Mexico. Agricultural Systems, (2015); 135: 66-76.

Modernel P, Dogliotti S, Alvarez S, Corbeels M, Picasso V, Tittonell P, Rossing WA. Identification of beef production farms in the Pampas and Campos area that stand out in economic and environmental performance. Ecological Indicators, (2018); 89: 755-770.

Alvarez S, Timler CJ, Michalscheck M, Paas W, Descheemaeker K., et al. Capturing farm diversity with hypothesis-based typologies: An innovative methodological framework for farming system typology development. PLoS One, (2018); 13(5): e0194757.


  • There are currently no refbacks.