Assessing the impact of soil salinity on crop growing in Kasese district.
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Kasese District is partially a rich ecosystem with enormous ecological and natural values such as agricultural soils. Estimation of crop yields is of great essence to food security. Lake Katwe sub-county is a salty area and has been dominated by salt mining rather than agriculture. This is mostly attached to the local claim that these soils do not favor crop growing and as a result of the people lacking sufficient knowledge of the salt levels as one moves away from the lake and the crops that can be grown in such area putting into consideration its salinity levels. Remote sensing is a valuable tool in decision making and management thus can appropriately be used to study soil salinity around this area with validation of soil samples. This study aimed at assessing the impact of soil salinity on crop growing with a basis on remote sensing technology and field data. In analysis, multitemporal acquired from three different years 1987, 1995 and 2015 were used. Firstly, preprocessing was done for all images to convert digital values to reflectance values while carrying out the necessary corrections such as the atmospheric correction. Thereafter several salinity indices such Normalized Difference Salt Index, Salinity Index in comparison with the vegetation Index known as the Normalized Difference Index were computed and then analyzed accordingly. The electricity conductivity of the different measurements of the field data collected in January 2020 and the necessary laboratory measurements undertaken were used as ground truth data. Basing on the results obtained from the comparison of NDVI, NDSI, SI 1, and field measurements, it was observed that as time elapses with other factors like the sunny weather and farming methods used around the area in Lake Katwe sub-county, the spatial extent of the areas being affected by soil salinity are expanding. Conclusively, this approach is considered a very effective method and technology for assessing the impact of soil salinity on crop growing and thus can be applied to other areas with similar or slightly varying characteristics.