Over 40 per cent of the Bolivian territory is affected by desertification caused by climate change, population increase and indiscriminate forest felling, the Science and Technology Ministry said recently.

The ministry said in a statement that the problem is becoming more serious each year, which puts at risk the food security of the country.

“The desertification in Bolivia affects 41 percent of the national territory, 439,432 square km, where 77 per cent of the national inhabitants live, some 6.4 million people,” the ministry said.

As much as 89 percent of Bolivians living in the affected territory are in extreme poverty.

The country loses 1.8 million tons of different agriculture products each year owing to soil erosion, according to scientific research.

Many factors such as a change of rain pattern, water shortage, population increase, migration and overgrazing are responsible for soil degradation.

The Bolivian government is boosting a plan to fight desertification through a platform combining the efforts from various government branches and the society.

XINHUA