Soil Science Department, Islamic Azad University, Darab branch, Darab, Iran
Abstract Land salinization is a major obstacle to the sustainable development of agriculture in arid regions. The demand for food, fiber, fuel and fresh water has increased in the recent decades, particularly in developing nations, due to alarming rise in population. As fresh water resources and productive lands for crop production are limited, new strategies for the sustainable utilization of marginal lands and water resources have become urgently necessary. The objective of this article is to propose Haloculture as a holistic approach for the sustainable management of saline resources, enhancement of environmental quality and improvements in socio-economic conditions in less developed salt affected regions. Haloculture refers to the sustainable production of agricultural and industrial products in saline environments. It is essentially an integrated production system that makes use of diverse salt tolerant aquatic species and halophytes to produce different economically and industrially valuable products such as food and fuel and environmental services from the salt affected lands. Although immense socio-economic, industrial and environmental benefits of Haloculture are increasingly becoming evident, careful ecological, cultural and economic considerations are a pre-condition for the successful implementation of Haloculture-led improvements in saline environments.