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India's Soil Degradation Crisis: A Threat to Food Security



  Nov 08, 2023

India’s Agricultural Crisis: Soil Degradation Threatens Food Security and Livelihoods



As an agrarian country, India’s soil health is pivotal for its food security and economic stability. With 146.8 million hectares of soil degraded, this environmental issue is no longer on the horizon—it’s at the doorstep.
Soil degradation undercuts not only the agricultural productivity but also the very fabric of India’s food sovereignty, jeopardizing the nation’s ability to feed its burgeoning population.

Key Factors of Soil Degradation:

Excessive use of chemical inputs during the Green Revolution era.

Over-irrigation and resultant water table depletion.

Monoculture practices leading to loss of soil biodiversity.

Mining, deforestation, and urbanization contributing to erosion and pollution.

Overgrazing and poor land management practices

Consequences:

Potential shift from a food surplus to a deficit state.

Threats to economic sustainability and farmer livelihoods.

Environmental ramifications including loss of biodiversity.

Solutions and Policy Interventions:

Adoption of soil health cards to inform farmers about soil status.

Free and proactive soil testing initiatives.

Educational campaigns to promote sustainable farming practices.

Policy shifts towards organic and reduced-tillage farming.

Restoration of soil carbon levels and biomass recycling.

The Way Forward:

A concerted effort involving policy reform, technological innovation, and community engagement is needed to reverse soil degradation.
This includes incentivizing sustainable practices, integrating soil conservation into land use planning, and fostering a scientific approach to land management. Ultimately, the transformation of India’s soil conservation efforts will hinge on strong political will and participatory governance.

It’s imperative to acknowledge the gravity of soil degradation and proactively seek solutions. India’s future in agriculture, food security, and environmental stewardship depends on the collective action taken today to heal its land.

SRIRAM’s


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