Assessing Urban Growth Dynamics and Depletion of Agricultural Land Use in Akure Region, Nigeria
This study examined the Akure urban growth dynamics and the impact on agricultural land use in the region between 1985 and 2014. It makes use of Aerial Imagery Interpolation (AII) of Landsat imagery of 1986, 2002, 2007 and 2014 to determine LULC change pattern, the extent and direction of the expansion. As at 1986, only 5.1% (6384 ha.) of land area was developed while over 90% were covered with thick (64.5%) and light (30.33%) vegetation which were lands used for agricultural purposes. By 2014, the built-up area had increased to 26.33% while the thick vegetation reduced drastically to 15.6%. Further investigation revealed that the growth dynamics and loss of agricultural land use in the region were products of increased population and continued urbanization process. There were incompatible conversions in LULC and unguided expansions leading to undue encroachment into green areas at the suburbs. With the aid of Markov chain model, the trend was predicted over a period of 20 years (2014-2034). Variability in this relationship suggests the need of concerted urban growth management efforts by different stakeholders in urban planning to check the shoddy expansion with a view to securing agricultural lands for sustainable food security in the region.
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