Agriculture

Desertification is one of the biggest challenges for Indian agriculture

Loss of soil cover, mainly due to rainfall and surface runoff, is one of the biggest reasons for desertification. It is responsible for 10.98% of desertification in the country

 
Last Updated: Tuesday 18 June 2019

Desertification and land degradation are major threats to agricultural productivity in our country. According to the State of India’s Environment 2017: In figures book by Centre for Science and Environment, Desertification has increased to 90 per cent of states in India.

So what is desertification? Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry the land region becomes increasingly arid. Desertification leads to losing bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife.

Out of the total 328.72 MHA of India’s total geographical area, 96.4 million hectares (MHA) are under desertification.In the past 10 years, 26 of 29 Indian states have reported an increase in the area undergoing desertification. Around 40 to 70 per cent of the land has undergone desertification in eight states, Rajasthan, Delhi, Goa, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh

The highest increase in land degradation is observed in Lunglei district of Mizoram (5.81 percent increase from 2003-05 to 2011-13)

Loss of soil cover, mainly due to rainfall and surface runoff, is one of the biggest reasons for desertification. It is responsible for 10.98 percent of desertification in the country

Other main reasons include, wind erosion (5.55 per cent), human-made or settlements (0.69 per cent), vegetation degradation (8.91 per cent) and salinity (1.12 per cent)

India was the signatory to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Paris on June 17, 1994. The main agenda of this convention is to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030.

But despite all this, India has witnessed an increase of 1.87 million hectares undergoing the process of desertification between 2003-05 and 2011-13.

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