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The main reason that people are concerned about the state of the land at the moment is for food. Some parts of the world can produce more food than they need, but many have far too little.
My home town of Keita is a small, farming community. Generally, there is enough food: our markets are full of vegetables, most of us manage to eat meat once a day and there is enough water most of the time. But life in the Sahara is hard. We live a simple life. People are not always happy – poverty makes finding food every day difficult. In times of drought, which is often caused by desertification, life gets very hard. But there is some hope. With help from international organisations, the Niger government has rescued 25,000 hectares from soil degradation. Sixteen million trees have been planted, 40 big dams and 235 little dams have been built to irrigate fields.Farmers have set up cooperatives, sharing resources and machinery, and learning techniques from each other. The young people in my town now have jobs to look forward to. Hajara Kader, Nigerv
I can't understand why adults are so stupid to think that technology can solve every single problem.
Mauricio Flores Castro, Mexico
We rented the land for a bit of fun
To escape from the Rat Race
we had already run
We felt, at that time, that we needed a rest
And leased the land that seemed the best.
We bought lots of cows - for dairy and beef
They trampled the grass and ate every leaf
The landscape turned from
bright green to brown,
But we didn't care
'cause we lived in the town.
We kept the farm for a year or two
Then gave it back and went on through
We might go out and rent more today
And treat it exactly the very same way.
Andrew Hobbs, Australia
Everything has its limits. Do you know where those limits are? No? Neither do I – so is there any limit to the number of people our world can support?
Olga Yakovleva, Russia