Farm Size Holding in Northern Nigeria: A Remote Sensing Assessment and Implication for Food Sustenance

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Soneye, A. S. O
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Land is a main life support resource to the third world countries. In Nigeria, a major limitation to sustainable use of land and its resources is that of fickle evaluation of the available stock and level of utilization. In particular, the commonly adopted traditional techniques for land resources studies are as questionable as the sources and quality of adopted data and the generated results. This paper presents the findings on an evaluation of the per capita farm-size holding in a predominantly agricultural environment in a developing world, using the interactive remote sensing technique and Geo-Information Technology. The study area covers, in part, six (6) Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the North West Geo-political Zone of Nigeria. The typical Sudano-Sahellian region covers some parts of the floodplain of Rivers Sokoto and Rima drainage basins and the adjoining upland areas. The SPOT image of the area was interpreted on a Procom-2 optical image analytical equipment to assess the extent of the land cover and uses. Collateral data from administrative sources, literature searches and field activities were integrated to determine the cultivated lands per farmer. The findings show that 66 per cent of the agricultural holdings in the area are in upland regions and cultivatable only in a short wet season of less than three month per annum. Farm holding per head is about 0.61 ha in the upland and less than 0.1 ha in the prime fadama area. Sokoto LGA has the lowest figures for all the categories of farmland types. The gloomy scenario portended by the results is discussed with special emphasis on the social and food security and sustainability in the region.
Land use , Land resources , Farm size , Developing countries , Agriculture
Soneye, A. S. O. (2002). Farm Size Holding in Northern Nigeria: A Remote Sensing Assessment and Implication for Food Sustenance. Paper presented at the Fourth International Conference of African Association of Remote Sensing Environment (AARSE), Abuja, Nigeria.