Droughts and desertification in India

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Bitter melon in Indian desert

Worsening Droughts Add To India’s Desertification Problem

by Kenneth Rapoza

Worsening droughts in India are having an impact on the desertification trend, as vegetation dries up and is often never replaced. On Wednesday, India’s environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said that up to 25% of the country was now desert.

Farmers and environmental policy makers have been watching out for India’s ever expanding deserts for years, but Javadekar’s estimate is far ahead of what scientists have forecast. In 2007, India’s Council of Scientific & industrial Research, one of the oldest industrial research and development centers in the country, said that by 2050, a little under 10% of the country would be unusable desert land mass. Judging by their methodology, India wouldn’t hit 25% desert for another 100 to 140 years.

“Land is becoming barren, degradation is happening,” Javadekar was quoted saying in The Economic Times today. “A lot of areas are on the verge of becoming deserts but it can be stopped.”

Read the full article: Forbes

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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