The impact of urbanization expansion on agricultural land in Ethiopia: A review
In a country like Ethiopia where the vast majority of the populations are employed in agriculture, land is an important economic resource for the development of rural livelihoods. Agricultural land in peri-urban areas is, however, transformed into built-up regions through horizontal urban expansion that has an effect on land use value. In recent years Ethiopia has been experiencing rapid urbanization, which has led to an ever-increasing demand for land in peri-urban areas for housing and other nonagricultural activities that pervades agricultural land. There is a high demand for informal and illegal peri-urban land which has been held by peri-urban farmers, and this plays a vital role in the unauthorized and sub-standard house construction on agricultural land. This urbanization has not been extensively reviewed and documented. In this review an attempt has been made to assess the impacts of rapid urbanization on agricultural activities. Urban expansion has reduced the areas available for agriculture, which has seriously impacted upon peri-urban farmers that are often left with little or no land to cultivate and which has increased their vulnerability. Housing encroachments have been observed to be uncontrolled due to a weak government response to the trend of unplanned city expansion. This has left peri-urban farmers exposed to the negative shocks of urbanization because significant urbanization-related agricultural land loss has a positive correlation with grain production decrease. Appropriate governing bodies should control urban development in order to control the illegal and informal spread of urbanization on agricultural land that threatens food production.(original abstract)
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