1st Edition

Soil Degradation and Restoration in Africa

Edited By Rattan Lal, B. A. Stewart Copyright 2019
    358 Pages 20 Color & 101 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    362 Pages 20 Color & 101 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    362 Pages 20 Color & 101 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Soil degradation is a widespread problem in Africa resulting in decreased agricultural productivity while demand for food continues to increase. Degradation is caused by accelerated erosion, acidification, contamination, depletion of soil organic matter and plant nutrients, and salinization. The major cause of soil degradation in Africa is uncontrolled and excessive grazing in the savanna regions followed by deforestation and the use of inappropriate and extractive farming practices.

    Perpetual neglect of the health of soils in Africa can exacerbate the already serious problems of food and nutritional insecurity and environmental degradation. Food and nutritional security of the growing population of Africa can only be achieved if degraded soils are restored and soils of agroecosystems are managed prudently and sustainably. Ignoring soils and taking the fragile, finite and precious soil resources for granted is the principal cause of poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation. The downward spiral must be reversed through soil restoration measures based on translating science into action.

    This book describes the soils of Africa, processes of soil degradation, extent and severity of soil degradation, and the impacts of degradation processes on food and nutritional security.


    • Explores the extent and severity of soil degradation in Africa

    • Analyzes the cause–effect relationship between anthropogenic activities and soil degradation

    • Reviews processes of soil degradation in Africa including erosion, salinization, nutrient depletion, and decline of soil organic matter

    • Addresses the effect of climate change on soil degradation in Africa.

    • Explains how soil degradation causes food and nutritional insecurity

    Part of the Advances in Soil Sciences series, this volume is specifically devoted to the processes and factors that cause soil degradation and the challenges and potential for remediation and restoration of soil health in Africa.

    Chapter 1 Soil Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges and Opportunities for Restoration. Chapter 2 Soil Degradation with Reference to Nutrient Mining and Soil Fertility Decline in Sub-Saharan Africa. Chapter 3 Making Sense Out of Soil Nutrient Mining and Depletion in Sub-Saharan Africa. Chapter 4 Land-Use Impacts on Soil Physical Properties of an Alfisol in Western Nigeria. Chapter 5 Soil Degradation in the Senegal Lower Valley. Chapter 6 Within-Field Monitoring of Secondary Salinity in Irrigated Areas of South Africa. Chapter 7 Changes in Soil Organic Matter Content and Quality in South African Arable Land. Chapter 8 Rangeland Management and Soil Quality in South Africa. Chapter 9 The Fertilizer Dilemma. Chapter 10 Conservation Agriculture in Tanzania.Chapter 11 The Storage of Organic Carbon in Dryland Soils of Africa: Constraints and Opportunities. Chapter 12 Degradation and Climate-Smart Options for Restoring the East African Soils. Chapter 13 Nitrogen Dynamics and Management in Rainfed Drylands: Issues and Challenges. Chapter 14 The Nuclear Option. Chapter 15 Love Songs to Loam: Motivating Youth to Make a Difference by Engaging Science and Religion.


    Rattan Lal, PhD, is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, The Ohio State University, and an Adjunct Professor of University of Iceland. His current research focus is on climate-resilient agriculture, soil carbon sequestration, sustainable intensification, enhancing use efficiency of agroecosystems, and sustainable management of soil resources of the tropics. He received honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Punjab Agricultural University (2001), the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas (2005), and Alecu Russo Balti State University, Moldova (2010). He was president of the World Association of the Soil and Water Conservation (1987-1990), the International Soil Tillage Research Organization (1988-91), the Soil Science Society of America (2005-2007), and is President Elect of International Union of Soil Science. He was a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on U.S. National Assessment of Climate Change-NCADAC (2010-2013), member of the SERDP Scientific Advisory Board of the US-DOE (2011-), Senior Science Advisor to the Global Soil Forum of Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, Germany (2010-), member of the Advisory Board of Joint Program Initiative of Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) of the European Union (2013-), and Chair of the Advisory Board of Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and Resources of the United Nation University (UNU-FLORES), Dresden, Germany (2014-2017). Prof. Lal was a lead author of IPCC (1998-2000).

    B.A. Stewart is Director of the Dryland Agriculture Institute and a distinguished professor of soil science at West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas. He is a former director of the USDA Conservation and Production Laboratory at Bushland, Texas; past president of the Soil Science Society of America; and member of the 1990-1993 Committee on Long-Range Soil and Water Policy, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. He is a fellow on the Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Soil and Water Conservation Society, a recipient of the USDA Superior Service Award, a recipient of the Hugh Hammond Bennett Award of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, an honorary member of the International Union of Soil Sciences in 2008. In 2009, Dr. Stewart was inducted into the USDA Agriculture Research Service Science Hall of Fame . Dr. Stewart is very supportive of education and research on dryland agriculture. The B.A. and Jane Ann Stewart Dryland Agriculture Scholarship Fund was established in West Texas A&M University in 1994 to provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students with a demonstrated interest in dryland agriculture. Scholarship Fund was established in West Texas A&M University in 1994 to provide scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students with a demonstrated interest in dryland agriculture.