Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry




World population is increasing at an alarming rate, and crop cultivation on marginal lands has emerged as an alternate option to feed the burgeoning population. However, marginal lands are characterized by poor soil health and other undesirable characteristics resulting in low crop production and less economic returns. Interest in the application of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) for marginal lands has been increasing. The SAPs application increases the germination percentage, seedling growth, and grain yield of different crops. Being hydrophilic in nature, SAPs can absorb and retain a huge quantity of water, and thereby enhance the water use efficiency in crops. In addition, SAPs application also showed a positive influence on soil physico-chemical properties and enhanced the retention of water and nutrients. Marginal lands are frequently subjected to abiotic stresses such as drought, heavy metals, and salinity. The application of SAPs serves as a buffer against these abiotic stresses and reduces the risk of plant damage and hence crop failure. Over the past decade, focused efforts have been undertaken on SAPs application on arable lands, especially in arid regions. However, understanding about SAPs application on marginal lands is not well understood. The present review critically discusses the potential of SAPs application to enhance the productivity of marginal lands with a major focus on crop performance under different stresses. Current challenges hindering the wide application of SAPs are also discussed.

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