Land Degradation

Land is the most basic factor which plays a leading role in our lives. Without land it is impossible to grow the agricultural products. It is this land which also recycles the water, energy and other basic nutrients which are important for the life to sustain. In absence of this, desertification is bound to occur. Land degradation is a major concern by the ecologists and environmentalists as more and more of cultivable land is being converted into deserted mass. This degradation has increased at a rapid pace by the human induced or natural process. It is important to concentrate on the factors causing degradation and control them so that the land can be used for cultivation, farming and other fruitful purposes. Degradation of the land makes it more unfertile and hence difficult to grow crops and vegetation. This degradation also reduces the growth of population and increases the risk of famine. However the causes of this degradation are mostly anthropogenic and agriculture related.

Degrading of land would result in increase in the infertility of soil which is mostly caused by land clearing and deforestation. Agricultural mining of soil nutrients, urban conversion, irrigation and pollution are also the contributing factors which result in the degrading of the land. It is necessary to take care of all the steps which are involved in the degradation process. Water erosion can easily be controlled by crop rotation technique and mulching which would increase the absorption rate of the soil. Preparing proper outlet for water outflow and sowing of crops like grasses, groundnut, pulses and Berseem can easily keep a check on the soil erosion. Control on grazing and land terracing also proves to be effective methods which can control degradation. Degrading of landmass is really an issue of concern as it also hampers the economic development of a country.

Development activities like construction of dams, canals, railways, buses and industries are some of the human induced factors which are responsible for land degradation. Contour bonding has the capability to hold rain water and thus acts as a shield against degradation. It is important to plant more and more trees to make the land more fertile and assist in the country’s growth. The salinity of the land also needs to be checked at frequent intervals and should be treated with leaching where the ground water is inadequate. The consequences of land degradation can be disastrous as it might lead to removal of essential nutrients from soil, increase in the acidity level, alkalinization, and destruction of soil structure and also loss of organic matter.

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