The area of salt-affected soils is increasing with time. In India, nearly 7 million ha are affected by the salt problem and, in Tamil Nadu state alone, this problem is acute on an area of 0.3 million ha (Parshad 1989). The salt problem alone accounts for a 20–80% reduction in yield. Efforts to reclaim and re-vegetate these soils require appropriate technologies. Improper diagnoses and the adoption of inappropriate technologies would result in a waste of time and scarce resources.
A case study was undertaken in the Krishnagiri Reservoir Project (KRP) area to find out the impact of soil reclamation on rice productivity, income, and employment of rice farmers. The data were collected in the KRP area in Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu, India. Agriculture is the major means of livelihood of the people. A variety of agricultural crops such as cereals, millet, and pulses and horticultural crops such as mango and tomato are grown in the dry farming areas of this tract. Among the food crops, rice occupies a pivotal place in the food and livelihood systems of the human and livestock population of this district. In Dharmapuri District, rice is grown on about 64,000 ha. Traditionally grown in two seasons, wet (July-November) and dry (December-March), by canal and well irrigation, respectively, rice has a productivity of 3.2 t ha–1 (Kannaiyan 2002). Nearly 12% of the total rice area has salinity-related problems. The KRP area, where rice alone could be cultivated, faces serious salt problems.