Climate change: How to cope with salty soil
In some coastal areas climate change means a rise in sea levels, leading to an increase in water salinity, which in turn means a high salt content in soil.
Increasing salinity in fresh water and soil poses problems for agriculture and fish farming. This is a particularly tricky aspect of climate change adaptation, but coastal communities as well as scientists are finding ways to cope.
Hardy varieties of rice, wheat and vegetables are one way, as is shifting from freshwater fish farming to raising saltwater species such as crabs.
In Sri Lanka, rice farmers, together with the United Nations Development Program, are attempting to produce more rice more efficiently by better soil and water management and growing stronger varieties of rice. These practices can also address droughts, which are believed to become more frequent and/or severe due to climate change.
Read more about the situation in Sri Lanka and watch the accompanying video report here.
Scientists in Australia are also working on developing salt resistant strains of wheat.
From the UK Press Association:
Durum wheat is used to make foods such as pasta and couscous and is especially vulnerable to salinity. The Australian scientists are now testing a bread wheat variety given the same salt-protective gene. With global food demand expected to rise by up to 110% by 2050, and the amount of available agricultural land diminishing, finding crops that grow in poor conditions is becoming increasingly important.
In Bangladesh, the vanguard of climate change adaptation, traditionally housebound women are entering the agricultural workforce, with some positive results.
See more on how women in Bangladesh are fighting climate change in the following video report from Deutsche Welle: