E. Cycle of Poverty

      The decreases in production caused by desertification create a cycle of poverty in the

affected countries.  Dokum articulates this cycle well saying:

“Desertification translates into a spiral of declining production, increasing poverty and diminished  potential productivity. It exacerbates poverty which, in turn, exacerbates desertification because, as the pressure increases, people are forced to exploit their land to survive. In doing so, they further diminish its productivity and the cycle continues” (Dokum, 1998).

        Here Dokum describes how poor farmers, who grow more numerous with time, and who are limited         in where they can farm by new national borders (Hiendrax, 1996), are forced to overuse the land.                They continue to use land that has already been degraded by overuse, further degrading this land,            making it even harder to get what they need from it in future years.  This forced overuse of the land             traps subsistence farmers in poverty and leads to further desertification.