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Causes Of Land Degradation

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India loses 1.3 million hectares of forests per year. One of the major causes of desertification is the cutting down of trees. According to the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), India had less than 11.4% of area under forest as per the 1992 observation. But the more recent satellite pictures show that the forest cover is now less than 10%.



The indirect activities included pressure on agricultural intensification and population growth.

With the increase in population, more land is needed for producing food, fiber, and fuel wood leading to increasing pressure on the limited land resources. Therefore the land gets degraded due to over exploitation.



Overgrazing refers to excessive eating of grasses and other green plants by cattle. It results into reduced growth of vegetation, reduced diversity of plant species, excessive growth of unwanted plant species, soil erosion, and degradation of land due to cattle movement.


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Human Activities:

Human induced causes many human activities are leads to land degradation directly or indirectly include deforestation, overgrazing by livestock, wrong irrigation practices, urban sprawl and commercial development, pollution from industries, quarrying, and mining activities, Problems arising from planning and management of canal irrigation etc.


Agricultural practices:

The modern agricultural practices, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides has adversely degraded the natural quality and fertility of the cultivation land.



Increased urbanization due to population growth reduces the agricultural land. To compensate for loss of agricultural land, new lands comprising of natural ecosystems such as forests are cleared. Therefore, urbanization leads to deforestation which in-turn affects millions of plant and animal species.



Development of industries for the economic growth of the country leads to excessive deforestation and utilization of land in such as way that it has lost its natural up gradation quality.


Fertilizers and Pesticides:

Increased application of fertilizers and pesticides are needed to increase farm output in new lands thereby leading to pollution of land, water and soil degradation.


Damage to top soil:

Increase in food production generally leads to damage of top soil through nutrient depletion.


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