Agricultural landscape change impact on the quality of land: An African continent-wide assessment in gained and displaced agricultural lands.

Akinyemi, Felicia O.; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe (2022). Agricultural landscape change impact on the quality of land: An African continent-wide assessment in gained and displaced agricultural lands. International journal of applied earth observation and geoinformation, 106, p. 102644. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jag.2021.102644

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Agricultural land area is increasing globally despite the loss of productive agricultural lands in some world regions. We examine the case of Africa where the knowledge about major agricultural land transitions and the impacts on the quality of land is still very limited. A comprehensive assessment of change in agricultural landscapes was conducted at the African continental scale. We identify influencing factors and model the quality of land associated with agricultural land gains and losses between 2000 and 2018. Land quality was established based on spatially-explicit analysis of varying Net Primary Productivity, soil organic carbon content, crop suitability and percent yield change for major crops of global importance grown across Africa such as maize, rice, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa. Distance to settlements was important in explaining agricultural land dynamics. Most land areas that transitioned to cropland in Africa were associated with large distances away from major roads. Poor access to major roads suggests the remoteness of gained croplands. Land quality was better in gained croplands than in those lost, whereas gained grasslands were of lesser quality compared to areas of grassland loss. Five typologies of African countries were developed based on net yield and amount of land cultivated per crop in cropland change areas. Type 1 typifies net yield increase and cultivated land decrease, while type 2 is characterized by yield increase consequent upon cropland expansion. Net yield and land remain unchanged in type 3, while in type 4 cultivated land increased but yield decreased as in 40% of African countries for maize, and in type 5, both yield and land area decreased. This study thus provides evidence about the quality of land in gained and lost agricultural areas and generalizable insights on their dynamics across Africa.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Akinyemi, Felicia Olufunmilayo and Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

0303-2434

Publisher:

Elsevier

Funders:

[UNSPECIFIED] University of Bern Seal of Excellence Fund (SELF)

Language:

English

Submitter:

Felicia Olufunmilayo Akinyemi

Date Deposited:

27 Jan 2022 10:48

Last Modified:

30 Jan 2022 01:52

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jag.2021.102644

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Agricultural land change, Land quality, Agriculture expansion, Net Primary Productivity, Crop yield, Crop suitability, Africa

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/163037

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/163037

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