Urban Expansion and Loss of Agricultural Land in Uyo Urban Area: Implications for Agricultural Business
Urban expansion in Uyo Urban Area was analyzed using aerial photographs taken from 1969 – 2001 which use was complemented with the Quick bird satellite imagery for 2004. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the urban expansion that had taken place in Uyo Urban Area over the periods of the study and to assess its influence on agricultural lands. The geographical information system (GIS) technology and field studies were applied to carry out this research. The analysis showed that Agricultural lands continually dropped in land area during the period while the built-up lands constantly rose. The built-up lands increased by 40.34% between 1969 and 1978, 5.63% between 1978 and 1988, and 111.45% between 1988 and 2001 and 0.16% between 2001 and 2004 at the expense of the agricultural land which fell by 0.33% between 1969 and 1978, 2.24% between 1978 and 1988, 58.03% between 1988 and 2001 and 4.26% between 2001 and 2004. Furthermore, between 1969/1978, the average annual rates of urban growth in Uyo Urban area were 4.48%, 0.56% between 1978/1988, 8.57% between 1988/2001 and 0.05% between 2001/2004 while the average annual rates of loss of agricultural lands were 0.04%, 0.22%, 4.46% and 1.42%. The largest quantity, percentage and average annual rates of gains or losses of land by the urban and the agricultural areas were made between 1988 and 2001. The loss of agricultural land brought in hunger and poverty in Uyo and boosted agricultural business in the neighbouring states.
Keywords: Urban, Expansion, urban Expansion, Agricultural Land, Home Garden, Agricultural Business