What is the main cause of land degradation?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 1st, 2022

The main cause of land degradation is deforestation. Other causes are droughts, shoddy agricultural methods, overgrazing, desertification, unsustainable land management, etc. Below are the main causes of land degradation in India. Read about each of them in brief.

Major Causes of Land Degradation

Deforestation:

  • 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.

Overgrazing:

  • 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:

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

Summary:

What is the main cause of land degradation?

Deforestation, use of fertilizers, harsh meteorological conditions, drought, overgrazing, and salinization, contribute to land degradation. Additionally, it is brought on by human activities that deteriorate or impair soil quality and land usability.

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