Effect of Changing Landuse/Landcover Pattern on Traditional Farming System in the Upper Niger Delta Region of Rivers State Nigeria.



The landuse/landcover pattern of a region is an outcome of natural and socio -economic factors including agricultural practices. Landuse/landcover change has become a central component in current strategies in managing natural resources as well as monitoring environmental changes. Settlement expansion has increased the exploitation of farmlands (natural resources) and has changed the landuse/landeover pattern of the predominantly agricultural landscape of the upper Niger Delta region of Rivers State. Change in the landuse/landcover pattern of this region was investigated using landsat imageries(TM 1986, ETM 2003 and ETM 2008). The supervised classification methodology was employed using the maximum likelihood technique to categorise the images. The classified landuse/landcover categories were plantation, primary forest, secondary forest, farmland, settlement (Built-up land), bareground, waterbody and mangrove. It was observed that while farmlands constantly decreased in size, settlement continued to increase. Farmland which decreased from 136,820.701ha to 96,019.54ha (10.27%) between 1986 and 2003, further decreased from 96,019.54ha to 93,643.97ha (0.60%) between 2003 and 2008. Field studies were also carried out and the Pearson Product Moment Correlation method was applied to arrive at appropriate results. Volume of farm produce (cassava) correlated strongly with land size, implying that as farmland (size) decreased, volume of farm produce decreased as well. Results showed that there is a statistically significant correlation between the two variables in the three studied local government the areas thus: 0.0719 for Ikwerre, 0.6498 for Etche and 0.2 748 for Emohua Local Government Areas respectively.

Keywords:  Landuse/landcover, traditional farming, Landsat imagery and natural resources.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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