The disturbance of the land by natural causes like climatic changes and human activities is known

as land degradation. The production capacity of the degraded land is reduced. According to an

estimate up to forty percent of the worlds cultivatable agricultural land had been degraded. Land

degradation has become a challenge to modern agriculture. The population of the world is

increased so we have to increase per unit area production to meet their food requirements. Land is

degrading as a result of unjuduice use of resources to increase per unit area production. The main

causes of land degradation are unsustainable use of agricultural land, removal of natural

vegetation, overgrazing, deforestation, injudicious use of resources as water and machinery,

unsuitable crop rotation and impropriate irrigation practices.

Land degradation affects crop yield, as crop yield is decreased with the increase of land

degradation which is clearly observed in numerous parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Overgrazing in pasture lands is the main source of removing vegetative cover which leads to

erosion which is another cause of land degradation.

Deforestation is an important factor in land degradation. People are cutting trees and removing vegetation for timber, fuel and other products.

Crop residues must be returned to the soil to add nutrients and improving soil quality but these are

used as fuel. Natural as well as anthropogenic activities are deteriorating land which is a natural

source. The increase in salinity levels of soil and water, inadequate resources of water and

dramatically changing climate are the limitations in the degradation of land. The issue of land

degradation can be minimized by using appropriate agricultural practices, reducing soil erosion

and with judicious use of inputs.

Urbanization and housing colonies are consuming fertile agricultural land. Farmers are unable to

increase cultivated area. Degradation of land also decreases the production capacity of the land as

Production capacity is decreased due to water logging, salinization and erosion. The main issues

involved in the degradation of land which may also reduce the productivity of land are water

logging, salinization of irrigated areas, wind and water erosion. Farmers are facing difficulty in

expanding cultivated area. This is so much difficult for farmers to increase resource of

production as to increase cultivated land.

It is estimated that world population would be 9.5 billion in 2050, so it is necessary to control soil

degradation to overcome the problem of diseases and malnutrition. Another important reason of

soil degradation is the removal of all crop residues which removes soil organic matter of the soil,

disturbs soil structure and impaired water dynamics as infiltration, retention and release for plant

growth. The most significant issues involved in soil degradation are wind and water erosion, loss

of soil organic matter, nutrient imbalance and loss of soil biodiversity, contamination,

acidification and water logging.

Water logged soils can be made productive by installing drainage systems. Adaptation of

sustainable agricultural and suitable land management practices is the best solution to reduce soil

degradation and improve soil health to meet the needs of the expanding global population.

In agricultural perspective, good soil quality determines the soil which is highly productive and

has minimum levels of degradation.

A soil is known as healthy which has abundant amount of organic matter with multiple ranges for

soil organisms to flourish and behave like a reservoir of soil nutrients and moisture. Organic

substance addition on regular basis is necessary to enhance or maintain soil organic matter content

in the soil that insures good soil health. Soil aggregation and SOM are major components of soil

fertility. Soil organic matter is a key factor in nutrient cycling and also an important soil quality

indicator. In addition, the protection of soil C has become increasingly important with the concern

about global warming and CO2 increases in the atmosphere.

By Web Team

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