How does agriculture disrupt desert


Cropland expansion and intensification of agriculture are among the drivers of land degradation processes that can lead to desertification. Yet, agriculture itself can provide solutions to land degradation.

The role of agriculture in desertification. One of the most important causes of desertification, especially in arid and semi-arid regions of the world, is improper activities in agriculture. Dense and improper cultivation of crops reduce soil structure stability and lead to soil degradation and erosion [28].


How has agriculture changed in the desert?

Desert farming. Water efficiency has been important to the growth of desert agriculture. Water reuse, desalination, and drip irrigation are all modern ways that regions and countries have expanded their agriculture despite being in an arid climate.

Why is it so hard to farm in the Sahara Desert?

All this combined with the high temperatures, the weak structure of sand at holding roots and the high winds constantly trying to rip away the plants, make desert farming a huge challenge — but perhaps not an impossible one though. Algeria is the largest country in Africa at 2,381,740 square kilometres (919,590 square miles).

What is an example of desert agriculture?

Today, the Imperial Valley in southern California, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Israel are examples of modern desert agriculture. Water efficiency has been important to the growth of desert agriculture.

How can plants and crops help to prevent desertification?

Also, growing plants and crops in desert areas will help prevent desertification, which is a problem many countries are facing. According to “Desertification” (2006), one way to prevent desertification is by preventing soil erosion, which planting vegetation will do.


Why are the desert unsuitable for agriculture?

Answer. Answer: A desert is the one of the physical feautre of india . The deserts are not suitable for agriculture because in desert there is an arid soil is present and arid soil contain less moisture that could harm the crops and scarcity of water also an important role for this region .

What agricultural practices leads to desertification?

Human activities that contribute to desertification include the expansion and intensive use of agricultural lands, poor irrigation practices, deforestation, and overgrazing. These unsustainable land uses place enormous pressure on the land by altering its soil chemistry and hydrology.

What are some threats to the desert?

Other major threats to deserts include overgrazing, woody-vegetation clearance, agricultural expansion, water diversion and extraction, soil and water pollution, land con- version due to industrial activities and associated threats from armed conflicts [19,21].

How does agriculture disrupt the natural ecosystem?

Agriculture can contribute to ecosystem services, but can also be a source of disservices, including loss of biodiversity, agrochemical contamination and sedimentation of waterways, pesticide poisoning of non-target organisms, and emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants (Dale & Polasky 2007; Zhang et al. 2007).

How does agriculture cause deforestation?

Cattle ranching, animal agriculture, and logging are the leading causes of deforestation in our forests. The forest is cut to provide timber to build houses and create specialty wood products, or burned to make room for cattle grazing and feed crop production.

How does irrigation cause desertification?

Poor irrigation techniques on farms can also lead to desertification. If farmers use too much water or use water inefficiently, they will reduce the overall water supply in the area. This can lead to vegetation loss and eventually desertification.

What is destroying the desert?

Global warming is increasing the incidence of drought, which dries up water holes. Higher temperatures may produce an increasing number of wildfires that alter desert landscapes by eliminating slow-growing trees and shrubs and replacing them with fast-growing grasses.

What is the main challenge faced by plants that live in a desert?

Because water limits life- time growth and reproduction in desert plants, all face the challenge of balancing carbon gain against water loss. This trade-off results, for the most part, because the primary path for carbon uptake is the same as for water loss – both flux through the stomata.

How does overgrazing affect the desert?

Overgrazing – an increasing population results in larger desert areas being farmed. Sheep, cattle and goats are overgrazing the vegetation. This leaves the soil exposed to erosion. Soil erosion – this is made worse by overgrazing and the removal of wood.

What are the negative effects of agriculture?

Agriculture contributes to a number larger of environmental issues that cause environmental degradation including: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, dead zones, genetic engineering, irrigation problems, pollutants, soil degradation, and waste.

Why agriculture is bad for the environment?

Agriculture is the leading source of pollution in many countries. Pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic farm chemicals can poison fresh water, marine ecosystems, air and soil. They also can remain in the environment for generations.

What are the disadvantages of agriculture?

Cons of AgricultureRisks of child labor. The increased demand for agricultural products calls for increased labor to realize huge profits. … Environmental pollution. … Health issues. … Agriculture leads to overgrazing. … Agriculture may disturb the family dynamics. … Spread of diseases. … Unpredictable weather. … Misuse of land.

What is desert agriculture?

Desert agriculture is the farming of crops well-suited for arid conditions, such as sorghum. Desert agroforestry is the growing of crops with the environmental support of trees in desert or arid areas. By incorporating these two agricultural techniques,countries should expect two results.

What would happen if villagers were given seeds for desert agriculture?

So, if they were actually given seeds for desert agriculture, the villagers’ situation would have food to eat and to sell.

What does growing the right tree in the right place on farms in sub-Saharan Africa do?

As cited by Heimbuch (2009), Dennis Garrity, Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre, says, “Growing the right tree in the right place on farms in sub-Saharan Africa-and worldwide- has the potential to slow climate change, feed more people, and protect the environment.

How long does it take to develop agroforestry?

Developing agroforestry and agriculture will take about 1 to 5 years to start for each region, but will develop infinitely. The implementation time depends on the education of the farmers and government, the development of groups to promote, develop, and help out with desert agriculture and agroforestry, and the amount of time it will take to phase out old crops and grow trees. After implementation, research will continue to evaluate which plant species should be used in each region’s agroforestry and agriculture and develop more efficient and sustainable agricultural techniques. Long term effects, including a better environment overall, most certainly will appear.

Why do governments have incentives to fund new agriculture and agroforestry?

Economics and Funding. Governments will have an incentive to fund new agriculture and agroforestry since it will increase agricultural production and reduce hunger. The international market for several African crops, like tef, is increasing, too (NAS, 1996, p.217).

What are some examples of exotic crops in Africa?

However, an example of a debatably negative exotic crop in Africa is the introduced eucalyptus tree. Current research shows that eucalyptus trees, commonly known as “water guzzler,” use up a lot of water when planted near water beds, and can severely drain the water table (Okella, 2009; Lang, 2004).

What is the broader perspective of reducing hunger in Africa?

According to Markwei, Ndlovu, Robinson, and Shah (2010), “A broader perspective [to reducing hunger in Africa] encompasses an integrated agricultural commodity value chain from production through to processing and marketing with a local and regional perspective.

Why is desert farming important?

Contemporary desert farming. Desert agriculture is more important than ever before as global population rises. Countries and regions that are not water-secure are no exception to increasing population and thus increasing demand for food.

What is desert farming?

Desert farming is the practice of developing agriculture in deserts. As agriculture depends upon irrigation and water supply, farming in arid regions where water is scarce is a challenge. However, desert farming has been practiced by humans for thousands of years.

What is drip irrigation in Israel?

Israel. A farm in modern-day Israel utilizing drip irrigation. Agriculture in modern-day Israel has pioneered several techniques for desert agriculture. The invention of drip irrigation by Simcha Blass has led to a large expansion of agriculture in arid regions, and in many places drip irrigation is the de facto irrigation technique utilized.

What caused the abandonment of the canals and the adoption of Ak-Chin farming?

Unfortunately, the intense irrigation increased the salinity of the topsoil, making it no longer fit for the growing of crops. This seems to have contributed to the abandonment of the canals and the adoption of Ak-Chin farming.

Why is water efficiency important in agriculture?

Water efficiency has been important to the growth of desert agriculture. Water reuse, desalination, and drip irrigation are all modern ways that regions and countries have expanded their agriculture despite being in an arid climate.

What did the Indians do in the Sonoran Desert?

American Indians in the Sonoran Desert and elsewhere relied both on irrigation and “Ak-Chin” farming —a type of farming that depended on “washes” (the seasonal flood plains by winter snows and summer rains). The Ak-Chin people employed this natural form of irrigation by planting downslope from a wash, allowing floodwaters to slide over their crops.

What tribes were involved in agriculture?

Native Americans. The Native Americans practicing this agriculture included the ancient and no longer present Anasazi, the long-present Hopi, the Tewa, Zuni, and many other regional tribes, including the relatively recently arriving (about 1000 to 1400 CE) Navajo.

What is the problem with the Sahara Desert?

The problem of the Sahara Desert has stubbornly refused to give way for much of human history. It has acted as a natural barrier to numerous empires like the Romans and the Carthaginians.

What are the extreme environments in the Sahara Desert?

Extreme Environments: farming in the Sahara Desert. Every year, an area of fertile land roughly half the size of Britain becomes desert. This process, known as desertification, isn’t usually caused by one single factor, but the usual suspects make an appearance every time: climate change, deforestation and poor agricultural practices.

What was the impact of farming on the Nubian aquifer?

The vast quantities required expected to have a drastic impact on the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer, the source of the water. Essentially, it was theorised that the farming would drain the aquifer, and thus the farmland would only be productive for a limited period of time.

What is barley used for in refugee camps?

The refugee camps and UNWFE have been successful in growing a strain of local barley in greenhouses, which is used as fodder to feed to the animals in the camp, notice ably increasing their dairy output, as well as the quality of the meat , and thus supplementing the diets of the refugees.

What is the second issue with sand?

The second issue with sand is its lack of organic matter. Most sand is less than 1% organic matter, which is defined as organic material (plants and animal residues) in different stages of decomposition. This organic material feeds micro-organisms, which in turn create nutrients that are then utilised by the plants in their survival.

Is sand good for soil?

We’re not used to thinking about sand as a kind of soil, but it’s simply on the extreme end of the spectrum. The main issues come from two things. Sand isn’t very good at holding water, the particles are simply too big, so the water just runs off and isn’t absorbed as it is with soil, thus starving the plants of water.

Can plants grow in sand?

Numerous forms of plants will grow in sand, as long as they can source water and are able to tolerate the extreme heat, wind, sandstorms and occasional torrential rains found in deserts (particularly the Sahara), plants will grow. Unfortunately for us, a few wild plants cannot sustain a population, so for all intents and purposes, …

Why is it so hard to meet the demand for accelerated agricultural productivity?

The reasons for this have to do with ecological factors. Global climate change is destabilizing many of the natural processes that make modern agriculture possible.

How do cattle damage soil?

Cattle and other large grazing animals can even damage soil by trampling on it. Bare, compacted land can bring about soil erosion and destruction of topsoil quality due to the runoff of nutrients. These and other impacts can destabilize a variety of fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitats. Chemical Fertilizer.

What is the effect of nitrogen on soil?

In addition, fertilizer application in soil leads to the formation and release of nitrous oxide, one of the most harmful greenhouse gases.

How does irrigation affect water?

Irrigation causes increases in water evaporation, impacting both surface air temperature and pressure as well as atmospheric moisture conditions . Recent studies have confirmed that cropland irrigation can influence rainfall patterns not only over the irrigated area but even thousands of miles away.

What is irrigation related to?

Irrigation has also been connected to the erosion of coastlines and other kinds of long-term ecological and habitat destruction. A huge amount of agricultural territory is used primarily as pasture for cattle and other livestock.

What causes algae blooms in China?

Nutrient pollution is a causal factor in toxic algae blooms affecting lakes in China, the United States, and elsewhere. As excessive amounts of organic matter decompose in aquatic environments, they can bring about oxygen depletion and create “dead zones” within bodies of water, where nothing can survive.

What are the consequences of irrigation?

One of the most obvious consequences is the depletion of aquifers, river systems, and downstream ground water. However, there are a number of other negative effects related to irrigation.

What are the causes of crop extinction?

Deforestation is a leading cause of climate change, which is a leading cause of crop extinction. If our forests continue to vanish and release greenhouse gases into the air, crops like coffee, tea, avocados, chocolate, and bananas could be largely lost in our lifetime.

How does deforestation affect soil?

Deforestation removes vegetation, which anchors soil in place. Without enough trees, soil is vulnerable to erosion and nutrient loss. The absence of roots causes topsoil to easily wash or blow away, leading to decreased soil quality and increased landslides. It’s estimated that a third of the world’s arable land has been lost to soil erosion and degradation since 1960. Once land is cleared and roots are ripped away, cash crops like coffee and soy are planted which can make erosion worse, since their roots cannot anchor into the soil like those of a tree.

What are the effects of deforestation on the rainforest?

This extreme clearing of land results in habitat loss, amplification of greenhouse gases, disruption of water cycles, increased soil erosion, and excessive flooding. A significant amount of total deforestation occurs in rainforests, which are home to over 50 percent of plant and animal species on the planet.

Why is meat important to deforestation?

Meat production is a leading cause of deforestation. It destroys animal habitats, cripples biodiversity, and increases GHG emissions in our atmosphere. Consumers often unknowingly support deforestation by purchasing foods, animal byproducts, and wood products sourced from unsustainable operations.

What are the causes of deforestation?

Cattle ranching, animal agriculture, and logging are the leading causes of deforestation in our forests. The forest is cut to provide timber to build houses and create specialty wood products, or burned to make room for cattle grazing and feed crop production. This constant destruction of our forests threatens biodiversity, …

Why is soy production increasing?

Soy production has doubled in the past 20 years, largely because of expanding animal agriculture. Every year around 1.2 million acres of land are cleared for soy production in tropical climates, and that number will continue to climb if the world does not reduce consumption of animal protein.

What is the biggest threat to the rainforest?

Going by recent discussions in the media, it is sometimes thought that the largest threat to our rainforests is palm oil (used for food and biofuel), or wood (for paper and construction). But beef production surpasses them both as the largest contributor to deforestation.

What is an urban food desert?

That doesn’t just mean a lack of grocery stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables, although that’s part of it. It also involves a concentration of fast food restaurants and convenience stores that sell high-calorie, low-nutrition food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines an urban food desert as a place where concentrations of residents live at least one mile—or in rural areas, at least 10 miles—from a source of healthy food.

What is uneven distribution?

A. It’s an uneven distribution, affecting primarily those with lower incomes and minorities. It’s prevalent in urban and in rural areas, where under- and unemployment is a factor, or where individuals may not have easy access to nutritious food.


Leave a Comment