Urban Expansion and Agricultural Land Use in Peri-Urban Makurdi, Nigeria

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume III, Issue II, February 2019 | ISSN 2454–6186

Urban Expansion and Agricultural Land Use in Peri-Urban Makurdi, Nigeria

Iorliam, Tarungwa Sylvester1,* & Ortserga, Daniel Serki#

IJRISS Call for paper

*Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Benue State University Makurdi, Nigeria
#Department of Geography Benue State University Makurdi, Nigeria
1Correspondence Author

Abstract: This study explored the impact of urban physical growth on agricultural land use in peri-urban districts of Makurdi town from 1986 to 2016. Satellite data from RS images and GIS maps of the area in combination with data from questionnaire survey of 150 farmers and key informants were used for the study. Again RS and GIS techniques were used to analyse the data in conjunction with descriptive tools such as percentages, tables and pie charts. The result of the study shows that built up land use class expanded significantly in the city from barely 8.73% by 1986 to 64.15% in the year 2016. On the contrary the finding also shows that whereas agricultural land use occupied 32.6% of the city region in 1986, it decreased in the following three decades to 7.50% by 2016. Also from the findings all other land uses and land cover classes such as forest/vegetation, bare lands, and wetlands similarly declined in area coverage significantly in the period due to conversions. This finding shows that the city’s expansion was derived largely from conversion of other land uses/cover classes to built-up land use type especially mixed agricultural land use. From the result the highest land conversion to built up area was from mixed agricultural land use class. About 72% of prime agricultural land use class was converted and this accounted for 57% (more than half) of the growth of built up land use. Finally the survey result also shows a dramatic reduction in the sizes of farmlands owned by farmers now as against ten to twenty years ago. This development has likely effect on livelihoods and food security of urban and peri-urban residents. Consequently it has been recommended that an agro-ecological map of Makurdi town using zoning regulation be developed as part of a long term spatial development framework that can safe guard all prime agricultural lands from further encroachment by urban developments. And that further investigation be carried out to unravel the emerging livelihood and food security issues that could have aroused following depleting agricultural lands in the city’s peri-urban regions.

Key words: Urban expansion, Agricultural land use Change, Remote sensing, Geographic Information System GIS.