Agriculture Project Topics

The Impact of Expansion of Ayilamo Settlement on Agricultural Farm Land The Case Study of Mbagun Tombo Council Ward, Logo Local Government Area of Benue State

The Impact of Expansion of Ayilamo Settlement on Agricultural Farm Land The Case Study of Mbagun Tombo Council Ward, Logo Local Government Area of Benue State

The Impact of Expansion of Ayilamo Settlement on Agricultural Farm Land The Case Study of Mbagun Tombo Council Ward, Logo Local Government Area of Benue State

Chapter One


The aim of this study is to assess urban expansion on farmlands in Logo LGA between 1990 – 2014. The specific objectives of the study are to:

  • map out different land use types in the area in 1990, 1999 and 2014.
  • determine the extent and rate of urban growth in Logo between 1990 and 2014 iii.determine the conversion rate of farmlands to urban expansion.




This chapter reviews extant literatures on urban expansion. The first part reviews literatures on the definition of major concepts such as urban expansion, causes and consequences; urbanization, urban areas, and farmland. While the following part deal with Geographical

Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing; and the application of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System GIS in Urban studies, growth and dynamics (detecting and monitoring, measuring and analyzing urban expansion).


Urban Expansion

Opinions are far from various on the concept of urban expansion. However, Manish, Aruna and Vivek (2012) define urban expansion as the horizontal  or vertical outward extension of urban area over the adjacent farmland, which can be measured in term of acres of land or in terms of percentage (actual or percentage expansion respectively). The percent expansion refers to the percentage increase in the aerial strength of the urban center over a period of time.

According to Lin, Yohei, and Haihong (2003) Urban expansion is a natural process which consumes many hectares of prime farmlands from their surrounding every year, it comes about through the transformation of non-urban land (for example, farmland) into urban land (such as residences, parks, shops and factories). He further argued that such transformation is one way; once transformed, it is very difficult to return back to the original land use. Thus, urban expansion, like a diffusion process, is also temporal but it is not strictly continuous in time.

Minwuyelet (2004), also see urban expansion as a worldwide phenomenon or process that involves both the internal reorganization and outward expansion of the physical structure of urban areas which results in loss of prime agricultural farmlands and natural beauties. This process could be seen in the history of all urban centers, although the term (urban expansion) has become synonymous with the creation of visual blight and the loss of natural habitat, not all of its effects are negative. In its simplest form, it is nothing more than expansion which normally occurs away from the dense areas of existing urban development. The need for urban expansion continues to escalate as the population continues to increase (Almeida, 2005; Shishay, 2011).

However, European Environment Agency (2006), describes urban expansion as the physical pattern of low-density expansion of large urban areas, under market conditions, mainly into the surrounding agricultural areas where development is patchy, scattered and strung out, with a tendency for discontinuity. It is seen as „horizontal spreading‟ or „dispersed urbanization‟, uncontrolled and disproportionate expansion of an urban area into the surrounding countryside, forming low-density, poorly planned patterns of development and common in both high-income and low-income countries.

Urban expansion, which is synonymous with urban sprawl, is the extension of the attentiveness of people or urban settlement to the surrounding area whose functions are non-agricultural. It is characterized by a scattered population living in separate residential areas, with long blocks and poor access, often over dependent on motorized transport and missing well defined hubs of commercial activity (Unicef, 2012).

Glaeser and Kahn (2003) states that the reason urban expansion is perpetuated is due to the low cost of the farmland which is being converted. The transformation of low cost farmland accompanied with an increase in accessible transportation networks increases the ability of the workforce to move out from the densely developed, urban areas. This, in turn, creates new areas for economic expansion and the overall increase of the tax base for local government.

In most of the developing countries, urban expansion is an inevitable economic and social functionality of towns and cities; their growth is characterized by both absolute increase of the number of people and spatial increase of the city, (Madulu, 2004). For example in Nigeria, 400,000 hectares of vegetation cover is lost annually. Most of this vegetation is deliberately removed to make way for development of infrastructure such as roads, railway and expansion of settlements among others (Adesina et al, 1999;, Adesina, 2005).


There is no generally accepted definition of urbanization as different scholars defined it as applicable due to the differences in socio-cultural backgrounds, professions, socio-economic and population disparities in countries (Harvey, 2000).  Urbanization, which refers to the expansion in the proportion of a population living in urban areas, is one of the major social transformations sweeping the globe especially developing countries. It represents the movement of people from rural areas to urban areas with population growth equating to urban migration. According to UNHABITAT (2006), the global urban population has quadrupled since 1950s, and cities of the developing world now account for over 90 percent of the world urban growth

Ujoh, Kwabe, and Ifatimehin (2010) defined urbanization as the process that refers to the growth both in size and numbers of urban centers. Agbola (2004); Olotuah and Adesiji (2005) defined it as the agglomeration of people in relatively large number at a particular spot of the earth surface.

Conversely, another school of thought believes that urbanization is not about the population size, but must satisfy certain conditions like modernization, physical and economic development, as well as the heterogeneity in occupation (Harvey, 2000).

The former definition of urbanization reflects the perspective of what urbanization is in the developing countries, while the latter school of thought reflects what urbanization is in the developed world. Thus, urbanization process in the developed countries is as a result of rapid development, modernization and industrialization, and not agglomeration of people which usually results from rural-urban drift. While the urbanization in Nigeria like most other developing nations, is a consequence of the “push” of the rural areas and the “pull” of the urban centres (Aluko, 2010). The push and pull in this regard are with respect to the population, which can be traced to the effects of regional imbalances.

Summarily from the foregoing, the term urbanization can be defined as the rapid development and transformation of a region including increases in the size, population and human activities at a given period of time, also (on the basis of the process that results in the conceptual emergence of urban expansion) as the expansion of a city into its surrounding agricultural or peri-urban lands, leading to rapid and massive growth of, and migration to, large cities (Shishay, 2011).

The proportion of the world‟s population living in urban areas, which was less than 5 % in 1800 increased to 47% in 2000 and is expected to reach 65 %  and 70%  in 2030 and 2050 respectively; with Africa and Asia being projected as the regions that will experience the largest growth in urban populations (Harriet, 2011; Oyeleye, 2013). In Nigeria, urbanization is mainly caused by urban growth, which could be due to natural population growth, reclassification of urban and rural system; and rural-urban migration.





This section discusses the study area and the various methods that were employed in generating data for the study. The section also explained the types and sources of data, tools and procedure for data analysis using Remote Sensing and GIS in the study area.


Logo is a Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Ugba. It has an area of 1,408 km² and a population of 169,063 at the 2006 census.Logo is a Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Ugba. It has an area of 1,408 km² and a population of 169,063 at the 2006 census.


A reconnaissance survey was carried out in order to acquaint the researcher with the current state of expansion of ayilamo settlement as well as the processes involved in the conversion of the surrounding farmland into urban land use.

 Types and Sources of data

In an effort to achieve a better and meaningful result for this study, the researcher made use of both primary and secondary data. The primary data used for this study are mainly satellite images acquired from National Center for Remote Sensing, Jos. They include the following;  

LandSat TM (Thematic Mapper) of 27thNovember, 1990 with a spatial resolution of 30 meters,  ii. LandSat ETM+ (Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus) of 27th October 1999 with a spatial resolution of 30 meters iii.  Nigeria Sat X of 19th March, 2014 with a spatial resolution of 22 meters.

Population data of the study area between 1990 and 2014 obtained from various the National Population Commission; Topographic and Administrative maps of Logo which were obtained from the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF) and the Benue State Ministry of Land and Survey respectively formed the secondary data. Literatures were derived from relevant dissertations, thesis, conference papers, journal articles, research papers, textbooks, published and unpublished works, reports from multilateral organizations on Urbanization /Expansion of ayilamo settlement (like United Nations and World Bank) and the internet based documents formed the secondary data.

Data Processing

Processing of the data involved, scanning; geo-referencing and digitizing for the topographic and administrative maps while the processing of the Remote Sensing data (Satellite Images) are largely concerned with four basic operations: Image Pre-processing, Image enhancement, Image classification, and Urban Detection and Analysis.




This chapter dwells on the presentation and analysis of result obtained from the research analysis; the objectives of this study formed the basis of all the analysis carried out in this chapter. The results are presented in figures 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 4.4; and tables 4.1, 4.2, 4.3. and 4.4. The presentation and analysis of the data have been carried out under the following subthemes; land use and land cover classes; extent, percentage and rate of land use land cover change; spatial loss of farmland to other land uses; and the rate of farmland conversion to urban built – up (expansion of ayilamo settlement) trend, pattern and rate of land use land cover change. 




This chapter describes the summary of the major findings of this study, conclusion derived from the findings and recommendations for effective management and reducing the impact of expansion of ayilamo settlement particularly on farmland in the study area and the state at large.


This research provide insight on the impact of expansion of ayilamo settlement of farmland in Logo Local Government Area using Remote Sensing and GIS. Attempt was made to capture as accurate as possible the five major land uses types in the study area as they change through time. The study used Remote Sensing and GIS as an analytical tool with satellite images used for mapping and quantifying the land use types, rate and extent of urban growth, spatial loss and conversion of farmland to other land use and expansion of ayilamo settlement within the study period.

As shown from the classified land use classes, land use types had changed significantly over the period of more than two decades (1990 – 2014). The statistics indicated that the growth rate of built up area occupied the largest share among land use categories especially at the expense of farmland.  It shows a rapid decline in farmland between 1999 and 2014 while the period between 1990 and 1999 witnessed relatively slow decline. The lost farmland between these periods was converted to urban land use (built up and bare surfaces).

Farmland which has the highest coverage with 148.63 km² (65.36%) in 1990, 135.57 km² (59.62%) in 1999 and 107.18 km² (47.14%) witnessed decreasing trend throughout the study period (1990 – 2014).  It changed by -41.45 km² (-27.89%) with an annual change rate of -1.73km² (-1.16%) and lost 1.81 km2 (0.80%) to expansion of ayilamo settlement within the same period. Natural vegetation also reduced gradually over the study period from 23.54%, 15.97% and 11.86% in 1990, 1999 and 2014 respectively. This gradual reduction of farmland and natural forest can be attributed to the constant conquest by built – up land and bare surfaces.

The built-up area expanded from 17.5km² in 1990 to 32.00km² and 65.09km² in 1999 and 2014, the extent of the change within the same period was  14.42km² (82.09%), 33.09km² (103.42%) and 47.52km² (270.40%). It also expanded at an annual rate of 1.60km² (9.12%) between 1990 and 1999; 2.21km² (6.89%) between 1999 and 2014; and 1.98km² (11.27%) within the study period (1990 – 2014). This gradual expansion was at the expense of farmland and is also attributed to the creation of a local government area, sitting of federal and military institutions, rapid physical, commercial development of the study area as well as the significant rise in socioeconomic indices and population growth.

The GIS based analysis of expansion of ayilamo settlement over the demographic change and land use modifications has also indicated that urban growth has basically taken place haphazardly on farmland because it is the suitable available land. This means land use has been changing from predominantly agricultural uses to non-agricultural uses, such that provision of residential and recreational space, transportation facilities, and industrial space is clearly dictated by the urbanization phenomenon.


This research work showcases the ability of GIS and Remote Sensing in analyzing spatialtemporal dynamics of urban growth. Logo Local Government Area has emerged from being predominantly rural area three decades ago to a city with an appreciable urbanization level. The result has shown that the area has lost quite significant portion of its farmland to expansion of ayilamo settlement. Built – up has gained 28.63% of the total coverage over the study period. Therefore, there is a need to an understanding of structural urban dynamics in order to have absolute foundation for the formulating sound and effective urban policies. Such policies must be contemporary to turn potential crises into opportunities as failure maybe too devastating. Hence, the challenge is the sustainability of farmland (and in extension agricultural activities) in the face of very rapid declining farmland and urbanization. This feat can be achieved via the integration of farmlandscapes into urban land use planning systems and as crucial part of urban development since urban growth and expansion is inevitable.


The result of this work has shown that there had been remarkable reduction in farmland and a resulting increase in urban built up. In fact, the area has lost about 43.59% km² of its prime farmland to expansion of ayilamo settlement in less than three decades. In view of the rate of development that is going on at present and the likely ones in the future with due consideration of the conversion rate of farmland to urban built up, the following are therefore recommended;

  1. Population influx has been attributed as one of the major causes of expansion of ayilamo settlement in the study area especially from the surrounding rural areas. Hence adequate social amenities should be incorporated into rural planning framework to improve living conditions in the rural areas so that the rate of emigration will be reduced and thereby checking the expansion of the city on farmland.
  2. There is need to control urban spreading to agriculture land as this will have serious repercussion on food production. Although expansion of ayilamo settlement cannot be stopped, with proper management and planning it can be directed in a desirable and sustainable way.
  3. Remote Sensing and GIS techniques should be incorporated as a monitoring system which will enable planners and decision makers to adequately plan and control expansion of ayilamo settlement effectively in a spatiotemporal dimension.
  4. Proactive measure should be taken by all stakeholders the study area towards a better understanding of the changing pattern of landuse of the area so as to be better equipped in order to manage various environmental challenges that might be associated with expansion of ayilamo settlement.
  5. Impact of population growth and expansion of ayilamo settlement on farmland is a continual phenomenon; this research is therefore not an end to the issue of loss of farmland to expansion of ayilamo settlement.  Therefore that further studies into spatiotemporal pattern of expansion of ayilamo settlement, the resulting environmental effects is recommended.


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