Soil degradation is causing a decline in crop productivity and huge economic loss, putting the food security and livelihood of farmers at risk. In sub-Saharan Africa (ssa soil degradation (nutrient depletion is the primary form of soil degradation in ssa is leading to a decline in crop productivity, and has been linked to hunger and poverty. With regard to south America, wingeyer. 67 point out that, although newly introduced extensive monoculture have brought some economic benefits, nevertheless, the current agricultural practices, even with the adoption of the no-tillage system, result detrimental to long-term soil conservation. Indeed, monocultures, in combination with a general lack of biodiversity, cause soil degradation through wind and water erosion, som depletion and nutrient loss. Soil degradation forces farmers to look for new land. Nevertheless, most new land would be represented by marginal land, or (more probably) by the land now covered by the tropical forests in Latin America and Africa. Such soils are not very suitable for agriculture production and require high investments to become productive 3, 4, 6, 7, 62, 66, 68, 69,.
What are the adverse effects of land degradation
More recent estimates (e.g., 62 ) suggest that, by 2030, an additional 81 to 147 million ha of cropland will be needed compared to the 2000 baseline. The authors argue that due to rapid urbanization, bioenergy policy mandates, forest plantations, and new protected areas, which are competing for land access, the total additional land demand is likely to range from 285 to 792 million ha between 20 (the latter figure equals the. Unfortunately, people have been building and expanding their cities on the most fertile soils, thereby squandering such a valuable resource 4, 9,. This pattern is unlikely to change in the future. Continued urbanization will pose a further threat to agriculture production 63, 64, along with the changing patterns of food consumption by the growing urban population. Soil Degradation: a threat to future food Security Along with assessing the quantity of new land, soil quality is also a matter of concern. Soil degradation has been defined as a global pandemic 18, as it is a world problem. Land bottle and soil degradation includes loss of soil cover, soil erosion, salinification, acidification and compaction. The gravity of soil degradation, and the possibility to remedy it, depend on the type of degradation process, with soil erosion and salinification being very serious as they can drive farmers to abandon the land, or face the very high management costs to keep cropping. Soil degradation has become a very serious problem in densely inhabited agricultural regions. India supports 18 of the worlds human population and 15 of the worlds livestock population, but has only.4 of the worlds land area.
It has been estimated that Human Appropriation of Net Primary Productivity (hanpp) may have reached about 4050 of the net primary production of potential vegetation. According to the Global footprint Network 52, at present humanity uses the equivalent.6 planets to provide the resources we use and to absorb our waste, an underestimate according to some environmental experts (e.g., 16, 53, 54, 55 ). Water supply is also expected to become a major problem in the future almost everywhere on the globe 36, 56,. Is There study Enough Land to meet Future needs? Since the 1990s, a discussion has been going on among the experts on whether there is sufficient land to meet the future demand for food and fiber for the increasing population. Due to the increase in consumption as expected from population growth and the changes in food consumption patterns, it has been estimated that global agricultural production levels for 2005 would need to increase by 70110 to meet demand in, 58,. Over the coming decades, further annual yield increases of 1.5 are needed to meet the projected demand for wheat, rice and maize. Some experts (e.g., 23, 58, 60 ) argue that this is a challenge, because with the present yield trends, just meeting current demand already appears difficult. According to fao 61, the arable area in developing countries will have to increase by almost 13, or 120 million ha, over the years from to 2030 to meet the food demand (about double the area of France, 64 million ha).
It has been argued that land degradation affect all types of land cover. Over the past 50 years, the worlds net cultivated area has grown by 12, mostly at the expense of forest, wetlands and grassland habitats. At the same time, the global irrigated area has doubled. Tropical forests were the primary source of new agricultural land in the 1980s and 1990s, representing about 30 of new agricultural land; 55 is represented by intact forest and 25 by disturbed forest. By 2050, the demand for new agricultural land (due to population pressure, diet change and demand for biofuels) is expected to increase by about. It is very probable that tropical forests will account for that land; therefore, further deforestation is to be expected, together with an exacerbation of soil degradation 28,. The future expansion of cropland will inevitably affect remaining ecosystems, their biodiversity and the services they provide.
Causes And Effects
Many issues, including yield reduction, have coalesced to determine agricultural trends in recent decades (e.g., population pressure, water supply, markets, policies, climate) 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32,. A recent work by report Grassini. 38, nevertheless, seems to indicate that some physical limits to yield productivity may have already been reached for rice, wheat and maize, and that further attempts to increase productivity may result in a decreasing marginal return on investment (see also 21 ). The authors explain, as farmers yields move up towards the yield potential threshold, it becomes more difficult to sustain further yield gain because it requires fine tuning of many different facets of management in the production system 38 (p.8). Alexandratos 27 warns us that while in some cases food insecurity can be imputable to social issues, such as distribution, access and entitlement, focusing just on this issue can be misleading if it induces us to ignore the stark reality that it is often failures. While we can fully agree with such a statement, one should also consider that such a failure might also have been induced by external forces, such as markets and international policies. The dumping of highly subsidized agricultural commodities from developed countries has greatly harmed farmers in developing countries 40,.
For decades, the world Bank has actively discouraged African countries from investing in rural development 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, to the point of dismantling the work carried out by norman bourlaug for the African green revolution. Nor should we ignore some other major issues that prevent the agriculture of poor countries from developing: local conflicts, widespread corruption, lack of infrastructure, poor education, and lack of scientific support, lack of credit and land concentration 44, 45, 46, 47,. The Pressure on the land and the Appropriation of the net Primary Productivity of Nature out of a global land mass.2 billion ha, 12 (1.6 billion ha) is currently in use for the cultivation of agricultural crops, 35 (4.6 billion ha) comprises grasslands. According to ramankutty. 49, in the year 2000, there was about 12 (1.5 billion ha) cropland and 22 (about.8 billion) pasture. The authors argue that the assessments are complicated by misunderstanding and confusion regarding the definitions of cropland and pasture. Data from the Global Land cover Share-database, which represents the major land cover classes defined by the fao, provide the following figures for land cover:.0 croplands,.0 grasslands (including both natural grasslands and managed grazing lands 28 tree-covered areas (including both natural and managed.
The Great Achievement of Agriculture since the Green revolution With the so-called green revolution, the productivity of the main agricultural crops has more than doubled, on average, with some cereals reaching a staggering 4- to 5-fold increase 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24,. This has helped meet world food demand and save hundreds of millions of people from starvation. Asia, for example, which was threatened by hunger and mass starvation as late as the mid-1960s, became self-sufficient in staple foods within 20 years, even though its population more than doubled 24,. Of the productivity increase, it has been estimated that about 70 is due to the intensification of agriculture (e.g., new varieties, irrigation, use of inputs and the remaining 30 is a result of new land being brought into production 24, 27,. It must be highlighted that the doubling of global food production during the past decades has been accompanied by a massive increase in the use of inputs, such as synthetic nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticide applications and extensive use of irrigation and energy 15, 16, 22,. The intensification of agriculture has also led to the degradation and exhaustion of soil and land, which is one of two topics this paper addresses.
Along with increased food supply and improved health conditions, world population has risen from 3 billion in 1960 to about.5 billion (2015 estimates it is expected to reach.5 billion in 2030 and 10 billion in, 24, 32, 33,. Agricultural land has become one of the largest terrestrial biomes on the planet, occupying an estimated 40 of the land surface 20, 30,. Agriculture also accounts for 70 of all water withdrawn from aquifers, streams and lakes 36,. Since the 1990s, however, there has been a slowdown in the growth of world agricultural production. World cereal output stagnated and fluctuated widely 21, 24, 25, 27, 32,. Food imports played an important role in allowing those countries that could afford it to meet the internal food demand and actually increase food consumption. Experts warn us that addressing the stagnating yields of our most important croplands is of paramount importance; failure to identify and alleviate the causes of yield stagnation, or reduction, will have a major impact on the future of global food security.
Global Warming Essay : causes, Effects solutions
Within the activities undertaken in relation to the International year of soils, fao and the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on soils (itps) released an important report on the status of soils and related issues. This is the first such report on this topic, and aims at raising awareness amongst both policy makers and lay people. Agriculture, the domestication of plants, animals, ecosystems and soils, is the practice by which we have produced our food eksempel and fueled our civilizations for more than ten thousand years. It is of crucial importance to realize that soil health and water supply are the cornerstones agriculture is based business upon. So much so, that there cannot be agriculture without water, and we cannot have vegetation and agriculture without soil. Soil health, therefore, is tightly linked to land use, food production and to peoples health, as well as to the use of inputs, and to many other environmental and socioeconomic issues. The optimism of the 1970s and 1980s, following the great achievements associated with the green revolution, namely the rise in productivity in Mexico and India, had to face the problems associated with the increasing pressure the revolution created on finite soil, water, and other natural.
Consequently, our dependence on natural resources has been overlooked by intellectuals and cultured people, as well as by our economists, and in turn by society. It is unfortunate that neo-classical economics, which we trust in making decisions about our future, simply excludes natural resources (the biophysical side of analysis our economies) from its theories, considering them as nearly free and infinite, therefore not a matter of concern. In the last decades, peoples environmental concern has begun to spread. Issues such as pollution and climate change have gathered widespread attention, as have energy, water and the conservation of biodiversity, pushing policy-makers to take action. Concern about soil conservation has been raised by soil scholars and works have been produced to raise awareness among farmers, policy makers and society. G., 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,. Since the 1990s, the concept of soil quality has become popular in the field (for the usa see, for example, 8 ). Nevertheless, the importance of soil conservation has not yet gained the attention it deserves, and the topic is not as popular as other issues within the environmental discourse and peoples awareness 9, 11,. For example, in Europe, the joint Research Centre (jrc highlights that there is little public awareness of the importance of soil protection 11, and an European Network on soil Awareness has been created, to establish an action plan for the development of to raise awareness.
(p. In the same document, the un declares: the sustainability of soils is key to addressing the pressures of a growing population, the sustainable management of soils can contribute to healthy soils and thus to a food-secure world and to stable and sustainably used ecosystems, good. José Graziano da silva, fao director-General, declared that The multiple roles of soils often go unnoticed. Soils dont have a voice, and few people speak out for them. They are our silent ally in food production. We have to praise the un and fao for this much-needed initiative aimed at reminding us about how our life is inescapably dependent on soil and natural resources. This is a fact that urbanized people often tend to forget as they live, culturally and physically, far away from the land, the soil and the food system. Unfortunately, soil has always been associated with dirt, whereas culture, emphasizing knowledge and appreciation of literature, arts, philosophy, and the development of humanist ideas, has been perceived to be superior to the provision of food, feed, fiber, and fuel to sustain the very existence.
I discuss the importance of preserving soil capital, and front its relationship to human civilization and food security. Trends concerning the availability of arable agricultural land, different scenarios, and their limitations, are analyzed and discussed. The possible relation between an increase in a countrys gnp, population and future availability of arable land is also analyzed, using the world Banks database. I argue that because of the many sources of uncertainty in the data, and the high risks at stake, a precautionary approach should be adopted when drawing scenarios. The paper ends with a discussion on the key role of preserving soil organic matter, and the need to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices. I also argue that both our relation with nature and natural resources and our lifestyle need to be reconsidered. Keywords: soil degradation; land degradation; soil conservation; scenario analysis; agriculture; organic agriculture; food production; food security; climate change; ecosystem services; precautionary approach. Introduction: The key priority represented by soil Conservation.
Essay, writing with March question - ielts liz
Open Access This article is freely available re-usable, review, soil Degradation, land Scarcity and food Security: reviewing a complex Challenge. Tiziano gomiero 1,2 1, fellow Department of Environmental Studies, faculty of Social Studies, masaryk university, 602 00 Brno, czech Republic; Tel.:, independent scholar; Mogliano veneto 31021 (tv italy. Academic Editor: Marc Rosen, received: / Accepted: / Published: Abstract : soil health, along with water supply, is the most valuable resource for humans, as human life depends on the soils generosity. Soil degradation, therefore, poses a threat to food security, as it reduces yield, forces farmers to use more inputs, and may eventually lead to soil abandonment. Unfortunately, the importance of preserving soil health appears to be overlooked by policy makers. In this paper, i first briefly introduce the present situation slogan concerning agricultural production, natural resources, soil degradation, land use and the challenge ahead, to show how these issues are strictly interwoven. Then, i define soil degradation and present a review of its typologies and estimates at a global level.