How does agriculture lead to desertification


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].


What is the relationship between desertification and agriculture?

6 Desertification and agriculture: a two-way relationship Producing food at the expense of the environment According to a

How can we solve the problems caused by desertification?

Confronting the problems caused by desertification requires tremendous efforts. An essential prerequisite for success is a dedicated leadership aware of the problems, willing to allocate adequate financial resources and to introduce effective agrotechnological methods-and endowed with perseverance.

What is desertification and how dangerous is it?

The risk of desertification is widespread and spans more than 100 countries, hitting some of the poorest and most vulnerable populations the hardest, since subsistence farming is common across many of the affected regions.

How can EU agricultural policy help to tackle desertification?

EU agricultural policy can have an impact on the elements and drivers of desertification, for example, by promoting sustainable agriculture in the awareness that protecting farmland productivity is of interest to the public and farmers alike. In this Briefing • What is desertification?


What is agriculture desertification?

Desertification and agriculture. SUMMARY. Desertification is a land degradation process that occurs in drylands. It affects the land’s capacity to supply ecosystem services, such as producing food or hosting biodiversity, to mention the most well-known ones.

How does poor farming lead to 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 desertification and how is it caused on agricultural land?

It is also caused by human activities that pollute or degrade the quality of soils and land utility. It negatively affects food production, livelihoods, and the production and provision of other ecosystem goods and services. Desertification is a form of land degradation by which fertile land becomes desert.

What are the 3 main causes of desertification?

The main causes of desertification include:Population growth – the population in some desert areas is increasing. … Removal of wood – in developing countries, people use wood for cooking. … Overgrazing – an increasing population results in larger desert areas being farmed.More items…

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.

Can grazing lead to desertification?

When livestock eat plants down to the roots, the plants grow short, unsustainable roots and eventually, the plants will stop growing altogether. This leaves large open areas with no vegetation where the soil is exposed to the elements.

Does overgrazing cause desertification?

Overgrazing reduces the usefulness, productivity, and biodiversity of the land and is one cause of desertification and erosion. Overgrazing is also seen as a cause of the spread of invasive species of non-native plants and of weeds.

How does population growth cause desertification?

As the population in desert areas increases, there is a greater need for fuel wood. When the land is cleared of trees, the roots of the trees no longer hold the soil together so it is more vulnerable to soil erosion . Overgrazing – an increasing population results in larger desert areas being farmed.

Why is agriculture not widespread in a desert?

Answer. Agriculture is not widespread in desert because the water available there is not at all enough for growing both commercial and intensive agriculture. we know it rarely rains in deserts. Added to that the soil in deserts in dry and infertie this not suitable for any crop.

How does soil pollution cause desertification?

Soil Pollution Most plants are quite sensitive to their natural living conditions. When soil becomes polluted due to various human activities, the respective area of land may suffer from desertification in the long run. Higher the level of pollution more will be the degradation of soil over time.

What are the causes of desertification and how can it be controlled?

Desertification is the degradation process by which a fertile land changes itself into a desert by losing its flora and fauna, this can be caused by drought, deforestation, climate change, human activities or improper agriculture. Desertification is a process of degradation of the land.

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.

How many acres of forest are cleared per day?

Deforestation is the large-scale clearing of land, generally for agriculture, industry, or transportation. Upwards of 50,000 acres of forest are cleared by farmers and loggers per day worldwide. An area equivalent to over 10,000 football fields is destroyed each day in the Amazon Basin alone. This extreme clearing of land results in habitat loss, …

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.

How does desertification affect the climate?

Characterised by degraded soil and lack of vegetation, desertification affects global climate through the release of large amounts of carbon o the t atmosphere. 3. Climate change degrades land through heats and droughts, . sand and dust storms and heavy rainfalls that erode and damage s.

What is desertification?

broader definition. of desertification includes degradation processes that extend beyond drylands : land degradation by wind erosion in the globe’s Nordic regions or by water runoff in wet regions constitutes progressive reduction in the soil ‘s ecosystem services possibly leading to desertification . The .

What is the 2030 Agenda?

2030 Agenda for ustainable s development, which set out an action plan for people, planet and prosperity, as well as for strengthening universal peace in larger freedom. The 17 sustainable development goals ( SDGs. ) are at the core of this plan, together with their related thematic issues, targets and indicators.

How much of the world’s food production is in drylands?

In the past 20 year s, there has been an increase by 16 % of harvested areas worldwide, with almost 45 % of the agricultural land located in drylands (mainly in Africa and Asia) and supplying about 60 % of global food production.

What is land degradation?

Nowadays, the term land degradation designates the reduction or loss of biological productivity, ecological integrity or value to humans; when this process occurs in drylands, it is described as desertification, though it is not related to expanding deserts and is not necessarily irreversible.

What are the factors that contribute to the impoverishment of the fertile topsoil?

A major factor that contributes to the impoverishment of the fertile topsoil is soil erosion, i.e. the detachment and transport of soil from its original location. I n many regions of the world , soil erosion represents the greatest threat to soil health and so il ecosystem servicesThe three main types.

Which EU countries are affected by desertification?

Almost half of the EU Member States ( Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain) have declared that they are affected by desertification under the UNCCD. An EU-funded . research study.


Desertification affects arid regions throughout the world, inflicting destitution on the populations of vast areas and threatening them with famine. Reversing the process by which the desert invades arable land and turns it into a desolate waste is one of the most crucial challenges facing the communities and nations of arid regions.


Although the State of Israel borders the Mediterranean Sea, its climate is profoundly affected by the proximity of vast tracts of desert to the south and east. Precipitation is limited to the winter season, which extends essentially from November to March. Annual rainfall averages between 800 and 400 mm.

The Negev before 1948

Until 1948, the year of the establishment of the State of Israel, the southern part of the country, called the Negev, was inhabited mainly by nomadic Bedouin tribes. The Bedouin – who numbered some 65,000 at that time and were spread out over an area of about 10,000 sq. km. – subsisted principally on sheep, goat and camel herding.

First Modern Agricultural Settlements in the Negev

The officials of the Ottoman Empire who ruled Palestine until 1917, and later the British Mandatory authorities, saw the Negev as uninhabitable territory whose chief importance was strategic and political.

Agricultural Settlements in the Negev after 1949

Shortly after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 a large influx of immigrants took place. A relatively large proportion of the new immigrants were directed to new settlements, many of them in the southern region of the country.

Israel’s Water Resources and Supply: Policy and Management

As we saw, the problem of an adequate water supply for agriculture began to preoccupy the leadership of the Jewish community long before the State of Israel was founded. Soon after the state’s establishment in 1948, the issue of water was assigned top priority.

Management of Water Resources in Israel

Total available water in Israel averages about 2,000 MCM annually. The main consumers are the agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors, agriculture accounting for 60 – 72% of total water consumption.

What are the causes of desertification?

In general, desertification is caused by variations in climate and by unsustainable land-management practices in dryland environments. By their very nature, arid and semiarid ecosystems are characterized by sparse or variable rainfall. Thus, climatic changes such as those that result in extended droughts …

Which continent is most affected by desertification?

Africa is the continent most affected by desertification, and one of the most obvious natural borders on the landmass is the southern edge of the Sahara desert. The countries that lie on the edge of the Sahara are among the poorest in the world, and they are subject to periodic droughts that devastate their peoples.

What are the activities that can be done in dryland environments?

Since dryland environments are used for a variety of human purposes (such as agriculture, animal grazing, and fuelwood collection ), the various activities undertaken in them can exacerbate the problem of desertification and bring about lasting changes to dryland ecosystems.

What is the main cause of declining biological productivity in irrigated croplands?

Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center. The main cause of declining biological productivity in irrigated croplands is the accumulation of salts in the soil.

How much of Africa’s dryland is arid?

One-third of Africa’s drylands are largely uninhabited arid deserts, while the remaining two-thirds support two-thirds of the continent’s burgeoning human population. As Africa’s population increases, the productivity of the land supporting this population declines. Some one-fifth of the irrigated cropland, three-fifths of the rain-fed cropland, …

What is the name of the process by which natural or human causes reduce the biological productivity of drylands?

He serves currently as the editor of Earth and life sciences, covering climatology, geology, zoology, and other topics that relate to… See Article History. Alternative Title: desertization. Desertification, also called desertization, the process by which natural or human causes reduce the biological productivity of drylands …

How much of the Earth’s surface is dry land?

Slightly less than half of Earth’s ice-free land surface—approximately 52 million square km (about 20 million square miles) —is drylands, and these drylands cover some of the world’s poorest countries. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) notes that desertification has affected 36 million square km (14 million square miles) of land and is a major international concern. According to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the lives of 250 million people are affected by desertification, and as many as 135 million people may be displaced by desertification by 2045, making it one of the most severe environmental challenges facing humanity.

How many countries are affected by desertification?

The risk of desertification is widespread and spans more than 100 countries, hitting some of the poorest and most vulnerable populations the hardest, since subsistence farming is common across many of the affected regions. More than 75 percent of Earth’s land area is already degraded, according to the European Commission’s World Atlas …

What are the causes of soil degradation?

This degradation tends to be driven by a number of factors, including urbanization, mining, farming, and ranching. In the course of these activities, trees and other vegetation are cleared away, animal hooves pound the dirt, and crops deplete nutrients in the soil.

How many people will live in the drylands by 2030?

About 2 billion people live on the drylands that are vulnerable to desertification, which could displace an estimated 50 million people by 2030.

How much of the Earth’s surface is degraded?

More than 75 percent of Earth’s land area is already degraded, according to the European Commission’s World Atlas of Desertification, and more than 90 percent could become degraded by 2050.

What would happen if the Mediterranean was arid?

The Mediterranean region would experience a drastic transformation with warming of 2 degrees Celsius, according to one study, with all of southern Spain becoming desert. Another recent study found that the same level of warming would result in “aridification,” or drying out, of up to 30 percent of Earth’s land surface.

Why doesn’t food grow?

Food often doesn’t grow, water can’t be collected, and habitats shift. This often produces several human health problems that range from malnutrition, respiratory disease caused by dusty air, and other diseases stemming from a lack of clean water.

What happens to the planet as temperatures rise?

As global temperatures rise and the human population expands, more of the planet is vulnerable to desertification, the permanent degradation of land that was once arable.

Desertification and land degradation

Desertification and land degradation are very serious challenges. They lead to hunger and poverty, drive unemployment, forced migration and conflict, while increasing the risk of extreme weather related to climate change.
But recent achievements in restoration and sustainable land management show that these problems are not insurmountable.

Key facts and figures

Land degradation affects almost 2 billion hectares of land worldwide, home to 1.5 billion people.


Drylands cover over 40% of the world land mass and harbour more than one-third of its population.


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