Land and soil degradation includes loss of soil cover, soil erosion, salinization, acidification and compaction. Soil degradation has become a very serious problem in densely inhabited agricultural regions. It represents a major threat to food production and environment conservation, especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
Due to rapid increase in population, rise in per capita income, change in dietary habits, mounting wastage of food and transmission losses; demand for food has gone up substantially and food security has become a challenge. As a result of intensive agriculture, over-grazing, deforestation, water pollution and increasing use of fertilizers and pesticides, topsoil has degraded considerably with increasing salinization, loss of fertility, soil erosion and desertification. Substantial rise in water usage, contamination of rivers, lakes, and ground-water aquifers, discharge of increasing number of industrial effluents, municipal sewage and non-biodegradable waste are further accelerating the process of soil and land degradation.