Saturday, 15 July 2006

Land Degradation and Agricultural Productivity in Bangladesh.

S. A. Haque, Bangladesh Agricultural Univ, Dept of Soil Science, Mymensingh, Bangladesh

Land degradation is a worldwide problem. It is apparently more intensive in developing countries. Land degradation poses serious problem for Bangladesh. In Bangladesh land degradation occurs due to natural and human activities. Natural degradation and hazards are conditions of the environment, which lead to high susceptibility to degradation, such as flood, steep slops, high intensity rainfall, strong leaching in both humid and dry situation (under irrigation) as found under Bangladesh condition. Direct causes of degradation are irrational land use and inappropriate land management practices.

Growing population pressure on land, increased human interference, inadequate or faulty crop management practices, intensified crop production and poor organic matter management have led to severe land degradation in the country. The following symptoms of land degradation are becoming more apparent: Depletion of organic matter, Nutrient deficiency, Acidification, Salinization, Soil compaction, Plough pan formation, Overgrazing, Deforestation of hilly land, Shifting cultivation without adequate fallow periods, Water logging, and Accelerated erosion.

Land degradation poses serious problem for Bangladesh. Loss of topsoil through water erosion, river bank erosion, declining land productivity and gradual shift towards negative nutrient balance in soil are among the main concerns with food security problem in the country. In-depth and detailed studies are lacking in Bangladesh, which could delimit precisely the area affected or susceptible to land degradation. Nevertheless, symptoms of such degradations, which have become evident in different parts of the country in recent years appear too pronounced to be ignored. Thus combating land degradation is vital through adoption of long-term land management strategy for the country.

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