International Journal of Agriculture Extension and Social Development
2021, Vol. 4, Issue 1, Part B
Analysis of wasteland status in India: Targets and reclamation
Dr. K Vasanta and Upasana Dhawan
India faces a problem of land degradation due to many land misuse practices, deforestation, water erosion, wind erosion, salinity, alkalinity, and flooding. The land which is not used due to any type of obstruction, whether it is cultivable or non-cultivable is known as wasteland. Management and reclamation of this wasteland is imperative for meeting the growing needs of the ever-increasing population of the country. New technologies, afforestation, deep irrigation, water controlling, strip farming, terrace farming, agri-horticulture, horti-pastures, energy farms are some of the methods of reducing wastelands. Peoples participation at the grassroot level, through community organization and capacity building is important. Every year due to land misuse and deforestation India is degraded by an estimated 2.1 MHA of land. Due to its varied topography different states in India have different factors playing on land degradation and various methods are employed by the state governments to reduce the wastelands. In 2019, at a UN conference to combat desertification, India has set an ambitious target of restoring 26 MHA of degraded land by 2030. The current pace of efforts and steps taken by the government fall short of helping achieve this target of land degradation neutrality. In a country where nearly 30% of the area is hit by degradation, the revival and restoration of wastelands will be one of the biggest environmental achievements.