What is Arable Land?

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In the field of geography, the agricultural term arable land refers to a land which can be used to grow crops. The term came from the Latin word arare, which means “to plough.” Arable land is different from cultivated land and involves all land wherein the climate and soil is perfect for agriculture, such as grasslands and forests, as well as areas categorized under human community.

Regionally and globally speaking, the expanse of arable land changes, even if it is controlled by topology and land mass. The reason for this variation can be attributed to the climate, as well as human factors. Some examples of these factors include deforestation, urban sprawl, irrigation, terracing, landfill, and desertification. In relation to these changes, researchers are also interested to learn about their impact on the production of food.

The sediments that originated from the rivers and seas during geological times are considered to be the most productive part of an arable land. At present times, the rivers rarely flood due to the flood control measures employed.

The opposite of arable land is non-arable land, which refers to land that is not suitable for agricultural purposes. Some of the reasons why non-arable land is unsuitable for agriculture include the lack of a fresh water source, too high or too low temperatures, the presence of too many rocks, too deficient in soil nutrients, too rainy, too much pollution, or too snowy. Other names for non-arable land include bad lands, no man’s land, or wasteland.

It is possible for non-arable land to be transformed into an arable land in order for it to produce greater amounts of food. Doing so can result in a lesser need for importation of food, and an increased level of the country’s self-sufficiency and political independence. The process of the conversion of a non-arable land into an arable one involves the creation of new irrigation canals, planting of trees, application of fertilizers and pesticides, plant desalination, construction of greenhouses, hydroponics, and PET film insulation.

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