Soil Erosion in Madagascar15.8S 46.2E
The red color of the Betsiboka River and Bombetoka Bay into which it flows (top edge) demonstrate one of Madagascar’s greatest environmental problems — soil erosion. Deforestation of Madagascar’s central highlands has resulted in widespread soil erosion, which in some areas may top 400 tons/ha per year.
For Madagascar, a country that relies on agricultural production for the foundation of its economy, the loss of this soil is especially costly. The removal of the native forest for cultivation and pastureland during the past 50 years has led to massive annual soil losses approaching 112 tons per acre (250 metric tons per hectare) in some regions of the island, the largest amount recorded anywhere in the world.