Soil Degradation: How far are we from complete desertification?

Preservation of the land we reside in is equally important for us as much as it is for the flora and fauna. We are not far away from desertification and if permanent measures are not taken in time, the coming generations will have no land resources to thrive on.

Managing the land we reside on is part of a huge responsibility as inhabitants of this planet, Earth. Soil Degradation can serve as a highly alarming situation for all over the globe as it declines land and soil conditions by its improper use and poor management skills, usually served for agricultural, industrial and urban, civilized purposes. The situation of land in India is quite startling as it serves the backbone for all rural and urban lifestyles in the country. Especially with India being the biggest exporter of many crops and food of the world, cultivated land in India are in huge grips of Desertification.

The agricultural sector of our country in under the largest threat from desertification under which the Green Revolution comes first and foremost. The country’s wheat and paddy pockets are prone to the problem to a level that if not taken care of they face the danger of turning barren leaving the country without any crop. This presses us to think that dry land desertification is nothing but death crawling on the land!

Moreover, if the data is well organized, we can find evidence that over 40% of Earth’s land is dry and a target for quick desertification, which eventually makes India a huge chunk as well. Soil degradation can occur in more than one particular form that actually makes it hard to identify, among which we have, organic matter erosion, decline in soil fertility, structural condition, changes in saline, acid and alkaline intensity of the soil and also adverse effects of pollutants and chemicals. Most of these can have a huge impact on crop yielding flora of the country. In addition to these, the geological factors of the land can also contribute to degradation of the soil conditions. At the urban front, in my opinion, human can be largely held accountable for all the vertical and materialistic growth of the planet. As technologically equipping and economical it is for the coming generations, it also poses a threat to the land we reside in because human activities of urbanization and deforestation have led to a complete destruction of nature.

What can also be noted is, modern agriculture has left behind all connection with forests. Crops grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides for better yield destroy soil microbes and other organisms, and also alter up structure of the soil causing long run death. The lower layer of the soil is also replete with nutrients, but due to high proportions of saline, acidic and alkaline concentrations in our forest waste disposal, soil water and dissolved nutrients are not that appropriately accessible and available to the plants and vegetation that inhabits that particular portion of the soil.

There are multiple dimensions of preventive measures that can be issued on parts of authorities to take the drawback of desertification rather seriously. Soil fertility can be reviewed and implemented through microbial decomposition process. To discuss this is a layman’s language, we can say that microorganisms thrive on the nutrients available in the soil. Thus, the more flora and fauna becomes a permanent part of the soil, the better it’s quality gets. In terms of natural chemicals involved in the process, bacteria also fix the atmospheric nitrogen in the soil which results in huge availability to the plants and trees. As long as we can keep harsh man-made fertilizers and chemicals away from these bacteria, we can ensure a healthy start to soil fertility.

Lastly, to enhance the capabilities of the soil with regards to its contribution to the plants and animal survival, the natural process of photosynthesis is absolutely necessary. Planting more and more plants and trees through reforestation can help with the supply of important nutrients that the soil needs. Even at times of natural calamities like forest fires, floods and earthquakes, urban citizens have to make sure that for every building that gets up and standing, a thousand trees need to be replanted so that the biological and environmental fabric of the nature doesn’t get harmed.