Salt Damage Threatens World Food Supply

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A new study says thousands of acres of land are being lost each day because of damage caused by salt. And scientists say the problem could threaten the world's food supply in the future. The problem involves salt degradation in areas of dry irrigated land with very little rainfall and no natural drainage.

The study published in the U.N. Journal Natural Resources Forum says the total area of land already affected by the problem is the size of France — 154 million acres. It also suggests tree planting, deep plowing and the production of self-tolerant crops, along with digging ditches for better drainage.

BBC science reporter Melissa Hogenboom discusses the study findings with Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson.

Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR app.


This segment aired on October 31, 2014.


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