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Soil Protection in South Africa

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Soil Protection in South Africa.
Soil protection is the protection and management of the quality of soil. It is all about solving the problems of land degradation. It can further be defined as the combination of the appropriate land use and management practices that promote the productive and sustainable use of soils and in the process minimise soil erosion and other forms of land degradation.

3.2.10 Causes of soil degradation in South Africa.

Erosion.
Erosion is the detachment and transportation of soil materials by wind or water. Soil erosion is a major problem of agriculture in South Africa. Soil erosion is a natural process but it becomes a serious problem when the activities of humans accelerate the process of its occurence. Land degradation caused by soil erosion causes the loss of fertile topsoil and reduces soil productivity. Researches have shown that over 70% of the soil in South Africa has been affected by one form of soil erosion or the other. The annual soil loss due to soil erosion in South Africa is estimated at 300 – 400 million tonnes for each hectare of land. South Africa loses an average of 20 tonnes of soil for each tonne of agricultural products produced. Soil erosion can be caused by water and, or wind. The effects of these factors on the soil are determined by the speed and the soil cover at the time of occurence. It is estimated that 25% of the country is covered by soil that is susceptible to wind erosion. These include the sandy soils in the western half of the Northwestern province.Water is the main cause of soil erosion in South africa and this can be as a result of rain splash, unconcentrated flow of water as sheet erosion and concentrated flow as gully erosion. The loss of soil cover due to overgrazing, ploughing and fire makes soil more vulnerable to erosion. In rangeland used mainly for grazing, serious erosion is due to...

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