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Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production

  • 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)

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    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.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Agriculture.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 443-463

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:3:p:443-463:d:27851
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    1. 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.
    2. David Pimentel, 2006. "Soil Erosion: A Food and Environmental Threat," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 119-137, 02.
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