Strategies for arresting land degradation in South Asian countries

Land degradation, synonymous to desertification in arid, semi arid and sub-humid region, covers the processes adversely affecting productive capacity of land under different land use systems. Present paper reports the extent, type and severity of land degradation in south Asian countries. Impact of land degradation contributing factors including population and poverty, climate change and natural hazards, agriculture globalization, overgrazing and livestock, summer fallowing and inappropriate land use management are discussed. Emerging human induced degradation types such as acidification, nutrient and organic carbon depletion, salinity and sodicity, surface truncation and sub-soils densification are highlighted. Influence of technologies including alternate land use, integrated nutrients and water managements for smothering/arresting land degradation are discussed. Reasons for failure of various technologies in arresting land degradation are elaborated.

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