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Write any two reasons for Land Degradation today

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  • Last Updated : 03 Nov, 2022
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Land is one of the most important and useful resources available in today’s world. It is essential for the growth of plants and acts as a ground for humans to live on. The loss of productive capacity or usefulness of land is known as Land Degradation. It leads to a decrease in the fertility of the land and prevents the people from further using the land for any purpose. 

Due to the increasing land degradation, food availability is adversely affected as there will be less land under cultivation. Land Degradation is one of the most important environmental concerns in today’s world as it is growing rapidly and leading to the formation of wastelands. 

According to a survey conducted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), almost one-fourth of non-ice land has already undergone Land degradation. This accounts for 25 percent of the total land available for use on earth. Land degradation has been a major concern as when the land is degraded it releases certain gases into the environment which in turn causes climate change. The current rate of soil formation is around 50 times less than the rate of soil erosion which is causing the land to reduce its fertility. 

Causes of Land Degradation

There are multiple causes of land degradation. Some of the major causes of land degradation are deforestation, overgrazing, Inappropriate irrigation, Climate change, floods, and droughts. 

Deforestation and Overcutting

Deforestation and Overcutting of vegetation are one of the major reasons for Land degradation. Overcutting takes place when people cut down the forest, woodland, and vegetation in order to obtain food, timber, or fuelwood. When the rate at which we cut down the trees is more than their natural seed of regeneration. In many countries like India, a huge part of the population depends on agriculture and live stocks. This leaves these areas open to be affected by overgrazing. It occurs when the livestock consumes more amount of vegetation and tan their rate of regeneration. This leaves the Land open for soil erosion and other phenomena. This erosion may be caused due to the wind or the rivers/ water present in that area. The topmost layer of the soil is the most fertile part and this leads to its wastage. 

Trees or any other plants for that matter have roots as a part of their system. These roots act as a mode to collect nutrients from the soil. These roots are not only essential for the plants but also for the environment. These roots act like an adhesive and bind / hold the soil particles together making it difficult for it to get eroded. But when these roots are not present they are left vulnerable to the action of wind and air. Around 24 percent of the area undergoing degradation in India is reported due to Deforestation or Overcutting mainly in the states of Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and some others. 

Improper Fertilizer Usage

As the fertility of the Land has been decreasing over the course of many years the farmers have started using alternatives like fertilizers to support plant growth. As an attempt to maintain crop production, many farmers tend to use large quantities of fertilizers. The usage of these products helps in the growth of plants in the short term but this method is not sustainable in the long run. The continuous usage of these products reduces the chance of land becoming fertile naturally.

These fertilizers replenish only the nutrients required for the plant to grow and the rest are ignored. Continuous use of these fertilizers over the years leads to the permanent loss of fertility and causes the land to become barren. With the decrease in the nutrition content in the soil the land becomes unfit for agricultural use. Out of the 31 states and union territories in India, 28 have reported land Degradation. Improper usage of fertilizers accounts for 11 percent of the total land Degradation in India.

FAQs on Land Degradation

Question 1: What is land degradation?

Answer:

Land is one of the most important and useful resources available in today’s world. It is essential for the growth of plants and acts as a ground for humans to live on. The loss of productive capacity or usefulness of land is known as Land Degradation.

It leads to a decrease in the fertility of the land and prevents the people from further using the land for any purpose. Due to the increasing land degradation, food availability is adversely affected as there will be less land under cultivation

Question 2: List some causes of Land degradation.

Answer: 

There are multiple causes for land degradation. Some of the major causes of land degradation are deforestation, overgrazing, Inappropriate irrigation, Climate change, floods and droughts. 

Question 3: Why are fertilizers used?

Answer:

As the fertility of the Land has been decreasing over the course of many years the farmers have started using alternatives like fertilizers to support plant growth. As an attempt to maintain the crop production many farmers tend to use large quantities of fertilizers. The usage of these products help in the growth of plants in a short term but this method is not sustainable for the long run.

Question 4: How does Land Degradation affect Climate Change?

Answer:

Land degradation has been a major concern as when the land is degraded it releases certain gases into the environment which in turn cause climate change. The current rate of soil formation is around 50 times less than the rate of soil erosion which is causing the land to reduce its fertility. 

Question 5: How does Deforestation and Overcutting aid Land Degradation?

Answer: 

Deforestation and Overcutting of vegetation is one of the major reasons for Land degradation. Overcutting takes place when people cut down the forest, woodland, and vegetation in order to obtain food, timber or fuelwood. When the rate at which we cut down the trees is more than their natural speed of regeneration. This leaves the Land open for soil erosion and other phenomenas. This erosion may be caused due to the wind or the rivers/ water present in that area. 

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