Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly
Members login
  • TrustLaw
  • Members Portal
Subscribe Donate

A quarter of India's land is turning into desert - minister

Source: Reuters - Wed, 18 Jun 2014 08:14 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-hun cli-sec cli-cli
A trader herds his camels at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan. Picture taken November 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

NEW DELHI, June 18 (Reuters) - About a quarter of India's land is turning to desert and degradation of agricultural areas is becoming a severe problem, the environment minister said, potentially threatening food security in the world's second most populous country.

India occupies just 2 percent of the world's territory but is home to 17 percent of its population, leading to over-use of land and excessive grazing. Along with changing rainfall patterns, these are the main causes of desertification.

"Land is becoming barren, degradation is happening," said Prakash Javadekar, minister for environment, forests and climate change. "A lot of areas are on the verge of becoming deserts but it can be stopped."

Land degradation - largely defined as loss of productivity - is estimated at 105 million hectares, constituting 32 percent of the total land.

According to the Indian Space Research Organisation that prepared a report on desertification in 2007, about 69 percent of land in the country is dry, making it vulnerable to water and wind erosion, salinization and water logging.

The states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are the among the most arid. These are some of the cotton and rapeseed growing states of India.

(Reporting by Krishna N Das and Shyamantha Asokan; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus