Deforestation is another major problem affecting soils today. Farmers clear and burn patches of forest to make way for crops to be planted. This is sometimes called ‘slash and burn’.

The trees that have been cut and burned leave behind a nutrient-rich ash suitable for growing crops. However, because many of these farmers are unable to afford the manufactured fertilisers needed to maintain the soil’s fertility, the land soon becomes impoverished, is often abandoned, and a new site is then prepared in a similar manner.

Thus forests are destroyed and soils are impoverished and become vulnerable to erosion.