The development of seawater agriculture: policy options for a changing climate

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Being complementary to traditional agriculture, seawater agriculture uses seawater to irrigate salt-tolerant crops either on land or on the surface of the sea. Developing seawater agriculture is an important mitigation strategy to address food insecurity. This paper aims to define the policy options for the development of seawater agriculture, based on a marginal efficiency analysis of the seawater agricultural household economic optimisation model. The results indicate that, to develop seawater agriculture, the use of high-tech materials and advanced technology are required along with the use of market-oriented business philosophy and modern management tools to upgrade the agricultural system. In practice, the formulation of development policies regarding seawater agriculture should focus on four aspects: 1) Top-level design planning and optimisation regarding the spatial aspects of seawater agriculture development, 2) increasing fiscal and financial support as well as enhancing the capacity of science and technology, 3) strengthening environmental protection and improving the safety aspects of production, and 4) supporting the diversification of business models and promoting the synergetic development diversified businesses. Given the expected increases in the world population in the coming decades, the development of policy to support seawater agriculture may be a crucial driving force in delivering food security.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100938
Number of pages27
JournalEnvironmental Development
Early online date13 Nov 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 13 Nov 2023


  • Seawater Agriculture
  • Salt Tolerant Plants
  • Saline Crops
  • Salt Tolerance
  • Halophyte

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