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Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production

Author

Listed:
  • David Pimentel

    () (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA)

  • Michael Burgess

    () (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA)

Abstract

Since humans worldwide obtain more than 99.7% of their food (calories) from the land and less than 0.3% from the oceans and aquatic ecosystems, preserving cropland and maintaining soil fertility should be of the highest importance to human welfare. Soil erosion is one of the most serious threats facing world food production. Each year about 10 million ha of cropland are lost due to soil erosion, thus reducing the cropland available for world food production. The loss of cropland is a serious problem because the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization report that two-thirds of the world population is malnourished. Overall, soil is being lost from agricultural areas 10 to 40 times faster than the rate of soil formation imperiling humanity’s food security.

Suggested Citation

  • David Pimentel & Michael Burgess, 2013. "Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-21, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:3:p:443-463:d:27851
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Pimentel, 2006. "Soil Erosion: A Food and Environmental Threat," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 119-137, February.
    2. Southgate, Douglas & Whitaker, Morris, 1992. "Promoting Resource Degradation in Latin America: Tropical Deforestation, Soil Erosion, and Coastal Ecosystem Disturbance in Ecuador," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(4), pages 787-807, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jlands:v:6:y:2017:i:4:p:78-:d:117580 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Tiziano Gomiero, 2016. "Soil Degradation, Land Scarcity and Food Security: Reviewing a Complex Challenge," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-41, March.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:281:d:66100 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:951-:d:137869 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    soil erosion; malnutrition; cropland; rangeland; pasture; soil organic matter; assessment;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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