Degradation of land refers to the gradual but consistent loss of fertility. This is emerging as a serious concern in the context of environmental I issues in India. The following are the factors that contribute to land degradation in India :
(i) Soil Erosion : The removal of upper layer of the soil caused by agents like strong Winds or floods is termed as soil erosion. The top most layer of the soil carries major & essential nutrients like nitrogen, phophorus & potassium consequently, the loss of this layer deteriorates the quality & productivity of land.
(ii) Alkalinity & salinity of soil : The salinity & alkalinity is caused by the problem of water logging. Water logged on the top layer of soil absorbs all the nutrients present in the soil, thereby, reducing its fertility.
(iii) Deforestation: The growing population along with their ever growing demand leads to large
scale destruction of forests ever. The reduction of forest coverage leads to soil erosion that in turn causes climate change.
(iv) Shifting cultivation : The practice of shifting cultivation and subsistence farming carried by the small and the marginal farmers result is the replenishment of soil nutrients & hence, its fertility.
(v) Excessive use of Fertilizers : The excessive use
of chemical fertilizers, insecticides & pesticides lowers the quality & fertility of soil.
(vi) Desertification : The spread of Deserts in arid
and semi-arid areas is referred to as desertification. It occurs due to overgrazing of the animals, This results in the reduction of lush green areas that in turn leads to replenishment of soil fertility.