2 Socio-economic drivers of demand for land and water

Some key findings in this section…
  • Farming systems are polarizing: Large-scale commercial holdings dominate agricultural land use, concentrating many millions of smallholders in subsistence farming on lands susceptible to degradation and water scarcity.
  • Inclusive land and water governance underpin productivity: Land-use planning is urgently needed to guide land and water allocation and promote sustainable resources management.
About 1.2 billion people live in areas where severe water shortages and scarcity challenge agriculture and where there is a high drought frequency in rainfed cropland and pastureland areas or high water stress in irrigated areas.
©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
Some 41 percent of South Asia suffers from human-induced land degradation, of which 70 percent is strongly degraded. (See map on page 10.)