Worldwide salinisation – the gradual increase in the salinity of the soil – is an increasing economic problem. It already seems that 1.5 billion hectares of agricultural land are threatened by salinisation, a problem that causes millions of euros of damage annually. The Experimental Salt Farm on the island of Texel – also known as the Zilt Proefboerderij – has been examining possibilities for farming on saline soils for years. From a recently published scientific study, it has been shown that there are many more possibilities, at least for potatoes, than the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has so far assumed. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (EA) is aware of this unique research that is taking place on Texel. In 2016, minister Martijn van Dam already made 200,000 euros available for carrying out research and applying cultivation techniques in countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ghana. On top of this, a further 400,000 euros have been made available for establishing a centre of knowledge for farming in saline soils and for propagating knowledge on this subject.
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