Is Converting Desert into Cropland a Wise Decision?

Converting desert into cropland – good or bad

Recently watched a video, Chinese colleagues are converting desert into cropland. Developing deserted lands is a very good idea but converting into croplands is rather a bad idea. Being a desert explorer, I’m personally not agree with this idea because of some reasons, given in the ensuing lines.

Converting desert into croplands

The reasons why desert should not be converted into the cropland

  1. Deserts are not zero valued or waste land. The ancestors of many staple foods’ seed and livestock species are inhibited in the desert.
  2. The deserts are historically and traditionally grazing lands. The precious and highly adapted and multipurpose native livestock evolved into the present day breeds in the desert. Such livestock is the answer to the difficult and complex challenges of the climate change.
  3. Deserts not only inhibits the precious plants and animal genetic resources but provides fascinating beauty to the landscape.
  4. Deserts have their own identity on the surface of the earth. It provides unique environments to many seasonal and migratory animals in different time periods of the year.
  5. Deserts play role in the weathering and energy flow of the planet (though not many references).
  6. A corporate and massive agric farming will destroy the overall health of the desert and the precious floral genetic resources can be vanished as well as the animal genetic resources.
The healthy camels in beautiful desert
Desert is not only a beautiful landscape but provides opportunity for livestock roaming and grazing like camels. Desert is very beautiful with its sand dunes and unique camels.

Then what can be done the best with the desert?

  1. The top suggestion can be the re-vegetation of the wild species of flora which are already adapted to the specific climatic conditions of the relevant desert/s.
  2. Fixation of the dunes, minimizing the intensity of desert storms, and covering certain/specific areas with the organic layer cover can be revolution.
  3. The innovation and science loving countries can use smart and sustainable methodologies to provide organic cover to certain areas of the desert. Like in UAE, the camel manure can be use to make organic covering bricks to cover the sand.
  4. The organic pads can be used as a ball for seeds. The seeds will grow very well in the organic pads and will sustain its growth and development in the coming years. Enveloping seeds (native to desert) into the organic pads like the farmers practice in floating agric in Bangladesh. will bring a revolution in the desert.
  5. Plantation of native trees and bushes like Prosopis, acacia, and haloxyllon, etc. can provide very good woody cover to the desert and minimize the intensities of the storms.
  6. Such vegetation in return can support feeding to the native livestock and wildlife.
Richgreen Desert after the Rain
The flora is the most important genetic resource in the whole planet earth but the deserts even need more floral diversity to give life and beauty to the desert.

Important Note

My take on this issue is not for criticism but for the development of understanding about the deserts and starting a debate to have the technical opinion on this important topic.

The desert vegetation including trees are playing multipurpose roles, from food to protection.

14 thoughts on “Is Converting Desert into Cropland a Wise Decision?

  1. Sami Babar June 28, 2020 / 3:55 pm

    Yeah,sir you know better the best utilization of desert land, I think so that desert should be utilized ,the way nature has provided with it’s own plantation, but progress in science and technology any thing can be possible to grow in the desert with passage of time…. Nyc effort ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sami Babar June 28, 2020 / 3:55 pm

    Yeah,sir you know better the best utilization of desert land, I think so that desert should be utilized ,the way nature has provided with it’s own plantation, but progress in science and technology any thing can be possible to grow in the desert with passage of time…. Nyc effort ❤️


  3. gabychops June 28, 2020 / 5:59 pm

    I think that your points are extremely valid and should be publicized globally. Perhaps the United Nation should be approached. When
    I finish my series on rivers, I will write about, that is how important I think it is. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Raziq June 28, 2020 / 7:08 pm

      Thanks very much for your valuable comments. Yes this issue is very crucial and needs to be debated and highlighted properly.


    • Dr Raziq June 28, 2020 / 8:29 pm

      You write great blogs. I shall be very happy if you write a blog in my page. It will be really great for us.


  4. Kahkashan Quraishi June 28, 2020 / 8:33 pm

    No way!!! Seriously i am not agree with this. Nature has its own place and own duty. Everything in nature is created for some reason. We have enough land for cropping. If we need extra cropping. There should be other idea but not desert. If we do this we will loose the beauty of nature. We must sign petition for this. Already we are facing global warming and environmental issues. We must save our desert and beauty of EARTH 🌍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Raziq June 28, 2020 / 8:40 pm

      Desert is a natural reservior of a rich and unique biodiversity. Yes we need to develop but not to change the nature of the desert.


    • Dr Raziq June 28, 2020 / 8:39 pm

      Then I can send an invitation to write as an author in my blog.


  5. Camel June 29, 2020 / 1:10 pm

    The desert can be developed into rich grazing and eco habitat for livestock and wildlife respectively.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dr Tahereh June 29, 2020 / 1:23 pm

    I agree with kahkashan, We must save desert. As in some areas in the world they dont have desert and they go to other where to see beauty of deserts. as i remember in my region many tourists came to see deserts. Desert with plants and animals is more beautiful as well as it gives us more calmness

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Raziq June 29, 2020 / 1:28 pm

      Yes, desserts are very important and need real support. Deserts have multidimensional roles. Not only for tourism as well as the home to precious biodiversity. Crop farming will eliminate precious biodiversity.


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