What are the Main Causes of Land Degradation?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Main Causes of Land Degradation are deforestation, overgrazing, and salinization. Other causes are droughts, shoddy agricultural methods, desertification, unsustainable land management, etc. Land degradation refers to the deterioration or loss of soil productive capacity for the present and future.

Major Causes of Land Degradation

The main causes of land degradation in India have been elaborated on below:


  • Forests contribute significantly to maintaining soil fertility by losing the leaves, which are rich in nutrients.
  • Forests help bind the soil particles using the roots of vegetation.
  • Hence, clearing forests will hurt the soil.

Overuse of pesticides and fertilizers

  • Although fertilizers are essential for enhancing food production, their overuse has raised concerns about potential environmental harm.
  • The amount of nutrients in the soil is out of balance due to the overuse of fertilizers.
  • This imbalance negatively impacts the vegetation.


  • An increase in animal population causes pastures to be overused.
  • As a result, grass and other flora cannot flourish and thrive in the area, which promotes soil erosion.
  • Due to poor quality or unpredictable rainfall, millions in Africa and Asia raise livestock on pastures and rangelands with inadequate carrying capacities.
  • Pastoralists and their rangelands are also threatened by overgrazing.


  • Salinization is an increase in the number of soluble salts in the soil.
  • India has salty land covering roughly six million hectares.


What are the Main Causes of Land Degradation?

The Causes of Land Degradation are Deforestation, fertilizer use, harsh meteorological conditions, drought, overgrazing, and salinization. It is also caused by human activities that degrade or impair soil quality and land usability.

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