THE IMPACT OF URBAN EXPANSION ON AGRICULTURAL LAND USE CHANGES IN ALIGARH, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
Keywords: Land use changes, Agriculture, Food security, Climate change, Urban sprawl
Abstract. India's urbanization has resulted in a significant change in many regions for both agricultural land and agricultural land use. However, there is limited understanding about the relationship between the two primary changes occurring to India's agricultural land – the urban expansion on agricultural land and agricultural land use intensity. Our primary goal here is to examine agricultural land change patterns and processes, and their main driving forces in Aligarh region (Uttar Pradesh) during the time periods from 2011 to 2018. We have conducted a remote sensing and GIS based analysis of change pattern using multi-temporal Landsat imageries for the years 2011 and 2018 by investigating the magnitude of changes in agricultural land use intensity across the district in a geographical perspective. Our study captured gradual decrease in the agricultural land in Aligarh district. The results also show that urban expansion is associated with a decline in agricultural land use intensity. The region experienced agriculture transition, and the urban expansion trend persisted till 2018. In terms of the drivers, we believe that the population and economic factors are most influential in shaping urban centers, while lower incentive and climatic shifts are the key drivers of decrease in agricultural land. Our study highlights the drastic effects of socio-economic and climatic changes on links between urbanization, and agricultural land which implies that urban land expansion is highly likely in future and consequently, will create pressure on the country's food security.