Latin America and the Caribbean contain 12% of the cropland currently being used in the world and 17% of the world's pastures.
A relatively large amount of Latin American land has maintained its native ecosystem. In contrast with most of the rest of the world,
there are some parts of Latin America, such as the Amazon region, that have not yet been affected by human beings.
In South America, 72.7% of drylands used for agriculture have been damaged moderately or extremely. On the land used for grazing, 47% of the soil has lost its fertility.
Some of the major problems Latin America and the Caribbean faces are desertification from overgrazing, salinization, alkalization, and erosion.
Erosion is one of the most severe problems. It can be caused by deforestation, agricultural expansion, and performing agricultural work on marginal lands. As farmers have sought to boost production, they have been moving into new areas and growing crops at an unsustainable rate.
In the high-altitude regions of the Andes Mountains, farmers have moved onto land incapable of supporting
prolonged agriculture. In such cases, activities such as overgrazing and single-crop farming aggravate the problem of using poor land.
More land will have to be used in the future as populations grow and crops are needed for export. This will mean that farmers will have to move on to marginal land, and eliminate many of the forest areas now covering Latin America and the Caribbean.