Assessing the effects of urban expansion on farm land

The case of Tefki town

Academic Paper, 2019

16 Pages


Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Statement of the problem

3. Description of the study
3.1. Research design
3.2. Research Method and Data collection Instruments
3.3. Data sources
3.4. Sampling Techniques and Sample Size
3.5. Methods of data analysis and presentation

4. Results and discussion
4.1. Respondent’s agricultural land loses (2012-2016) due to urban expansion
4.2. The effects of urban expansion on farm land
4.3. Change of job of the respondents after they lost their farm land.
4.4. Opinion on the compensation paid for the land size they lost
4.5. The purpose of farm land in the process of urban expansion
4.6. The attitude towards urbanization
4.7. Urban expansion and accessing services
4.8. Ways of diversified income






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The impacts of urban expansion on farm Land: the case of Tefki Town, Oromia special zone surrounding Finfinne.

Selale University: College of Social Science and Humanities

Department of Geography & Environmental Studies

Abstract: Urbanization is recently a rising trend seen all over the world, mostly in an upsetting rate in developing countries. Similarly, most towns in Ethiopia are recently becoming expanded towards the adjacent farm land. The Expansions of these towns were resulted in the conversion of farm land to urban land uses. This study is intended to assess the impacts of urban expansion on farm land of the surrounding rural kebeles of Tefki town from the year 2012-2016. Specifically, the study focused on evaluating the effects of town expansion on the farmers (households) in terms of land loss and income, the opportunities of the affected households secured from the town expansion and compensation process. Hence, 166 expansion affected households were selected through snowball sampling, and also 5 officials from different institutions were purposively taken. Thus, the primary data were collected using questionnaires and interview. Secondary data have been also used to triangulate and supplement the first hand information. The collected data were analyzed by using SPSS version 20. The result showed that Tefki town rapidly expanded during the last five years as a result of population growth and industrialization. This expansion made significant effects on farm lands of the surrounding farmers. Although they secured access to certain services, it was also brought effects like loss of agricultural land and other assets including grazing land, and unfair compensation. This expansion has made the households of the surrounding area to lose farm land on which their livelihood used to depend on for long period of time. Every farmer has been made to lose an average of 1 hectare of their owned farm land. The grazing land of the area has been decreased because of town expansion, and thus made farmers to lack enough place of grazing for their livestock. On the other side, the compensation was not made on time for the affected farmers. The study also found out that the compensation given to the farmers was not fair, and too inadequate to sustain the livelihoods of the affected households. Therefore, a detailed potential effect assessment study should be carried out by the government and other stakeholders prior to implementing urbanization programs so as to minimize the adverse effects of urban expansion.

Keywords: urban expansion, compensation, livelihoods, Farmers


The process of urban expansion is a worldwide phenomenon. It started with the earliest human civilization of Babylonians’ (Cemea, 1997 cited in Firew, 2010). This phenomenon is now a rising trend seen all over the world, especially in an alarming rate in developing countries. This makes cities grow both in number and in physical size (Haregewoin, 2005). The overall population growth rates for the world is 1%, while the growth rate for urban areas is nearly double, or 1.8% and the rate of world urban population will double in 38 years and this growth will be even more rapid in the urban areas of less developed region, averaging 2.3% per year and expected to double in 30 years; the population in urban areas in less developed countries will grow from 1.9 billion today to 3.9billion, while in developed countries, the urban population is expected to increase very slowly, from 0.9billion to1billion in 2030(UN HABITAT, 2001). The process of urban expansion, may involve the expansion size of the physical structure of urban areas and it can result in loss of agricultural land, natural beauties, range lands, parks and sceneries (Minwuyelet, 2005).

Urbanization and urban growth are considered as a modern way of life bringing economic growth and development; however it is encountered with a number of ecological problems, particularly on agricultural land (Tegenge, 2000 cited in Adem, 2010).

He also further stated that, urban expansion and industry had close relationship in developed nations which has been synonymous with technological advancement, economic development and social transformation that triggered and diffused change and dynamism in the whole socio-cultural conditions of the society and this condition indicated that in the developed countries, urbanization was a fore runner of the rise in living standard and at the same time one of its consequences. Unlike the situation in the developed countries at comparable stages of development, the process of urbanization in the third world countries appears to be more a function of rural push factors than the urban pull factors and urban expansion creates many challenges that may be above the ability of the economies of the third world countries including the creation of job opportunities and provision of basic needs for those who migrates to city and urban center (Rakodi, 1997). In Ethiopia, as in several other African countries, urbanization is happening at a new swift rate and the competition for land between agriculture and non-agriculture is becoming intense in the peri-urban and it shows that land acquisition and delivery for urban expansion and development purposes is completely state controlled on the rationale that all land belongs to the state and peoples of Ethiopia and local peri-urban landholders or indigenous small farmers are largely vulnerable to lose their land where their livelihood is based upon(FDRE,1995). The ever increasing of urban population and outward movement of urban expansion to the fringe peri-urban areas with diversified motivation of the local urban government has affected the lives of farmer’s population and expanding towards the periphery agricultural community and rural land use change in to urban land use as major objective of urban development policy has surfaced quite importantly all over the world particularly in rapidly urbanizing developing countries including Ethiopia(Benhrt, 2004).

The development of a national urban policy is the key step for reasserting urban space and territoriality by providing an overarching coordinating framework to deal with the most pressing issues related to rapid urbanization, including slum prevention, regularization and job creation, (UN HABITAT, 2012).

The Ethiopian national urban development policy document is founded on ADLI, Industrial development strategy, federalism, democratization and civil services reform. It is stated in the document that, the speed extent and focus of urban development is dependent on rural development and vice versa. According to the policy document, the main challenges facing the urban areas in the country are poorly developed social and physical infrastructure; shortage and deterioration of housing; lack of recreation areas; inadequate municipal waste management; absence of well integrated urban rural linkages; unbalanced urban growth and weakly developed national and regional urban system (MoUDAC, 2012).

The overall vision of the policy is to ensure the growth and development of Ethiopian urban center is guided by plans and to make the cities and the town competitive centers of integrated and sustainable development that are sufficiently responsive to the needs of their inhabitants (MoUDAC, 2012).Therefore, this research was intended to assessing the effect of urbanization on peri urban rural agricultural land use surrounding Tefki town.

2. Statement of the problem

The expansion of urbanization may result in the conversion of land from agriculture to urban land use. This indicated, expansion of urban areas is of greater importance because of its strong effect on other land cover classes, such as agricultural lands in particular and forests and others in general. As a result, problem of rapid urban growth and its consequence on farm land in developing countries have been a serious concern issue and are more worrisome when there is urban expanded on fertile agricultural land and other socio-economic implication on peri-urban areas of most cities (Adeboyejoet, 2007).

In Ethiopia, commercial farms, road construction and urban expansion have been causing consumption of agricultural land and population displacement and it is resulting to related loss of agricultural land, production and directly leads to decreases the income of the people, particularly, as most private investments have so far concentrated around the main urban centers, mainly the town surrounding Addis Ababa, the problem of farm land is becoming the primarily concern (Feleke, 1999). Tefki town is one of the towns found in Oromia special zone surrounding Finfinne, which is currently expanding tremendously in terms of population and physical size. The expansion of this town created numerous opportunities as well as challenges for surrounding rural farming communities in general and their farming land in particular (OUPI, 2014).

Although Tefki town Administration has put in place some benefit package like compensation for those losing lands, little is known how to minimize the effects of urbanization on farm land. This requires an assessment of the existing social, economic, institutional and organizational structures and compensation procedures that dealt with people who are affected by the expansion of Tefki town. On the other hand, the rural farming community has little knowledge and know-how to adapt to the situation of urban life as most of them is unskilled to compete for urban job opportunity. Different studies were conducted on this problem, but the majority did not adequately address effect of urban expansion on agricultural land. So, this research was intended to fill this gap which particularly focuses on effects of urban expansion on the surrounding rural agricultural land.

3. Description of the study

The study area was located in Oromia special zone surrounding Finfinne .Geographically it occupies in the central part of the region located at 41km distance to south west of Addis Ababa along Addis Ababa-jimma road. It is located in the latitude of 8050’41’’N and longitude of 38029’23’’E (figure 3.1). In relative location, Tefki town is shared boundaries with rural kebeles of sebeta awas woreda in all sides. Sebeta Awas woreda agricultural bureau (SAWAB, 2010)

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Figure 3.1.: Map of the study area

3.1. Research design

The research design for this study was cross sectional research design which applied to acquire relevant data and generate appropriate information. The reason for the researcher choosing this design was that it enables the researcher to collect data at one point in time.

3.2. Research Method and Data collection Instruments

To address the objectives of the research both qualitative and quantitative data were required. In this case, the data collection instruments like questionnaires and interviews were applied. In general, under this method, the most important issues were; to collect data on economic, social, environmental situation, conflicts over resources particularly farm land due to the expansion of the town over agricultural land and to identify the effects of urbanization over farm land, trends of urbanization, opportunities obtained and amount of compensation.

3.3. Data sources

The study generated both primary and secondary data. The primary data were obtained through information gathering from a rural households affected by urban expansion and Key Informants. This data was complemented with secondary data gathered from relevant literature and government and non-government reports.

3.4. Sampling Techniques and Sample Size

pertaining to sampling method and size, the researcher would purposely select Tefki town from the five urban center of sebeta awas woreda to analyze the effect of urban expansion on the surrounding rural agricultural kebeles. From rural kebeles surrounding Tefki town the researcher select two kebeles purposively to analyze the effect of urban expansion on the surrounding rural agricultural kebeles. From these farmers’ household heads, the data of farmers affected by urban expansion since the last five years (2012-2016) in the two rural kebeles were not clearly obtained from the town’s municipality office. Due to these issues, the researcher would use the snowball sampling methods to select the sample respondents for undergoing household survey. By doing this; the researcher reached at, 89 respondents were from ganda bure kebele and 77 were from bonde kebele. In addition to this five (5) individual for interview were selected purposively from outside the sampled population. They selected from town’s mayor, developmental agent, and urban land management. And four (4) households were purposively selected from the affected farmers for key informant interview.

3.5. Methods of data analysis and presentation

The data obtain from questionnaires analyzed quantitatively by descriptive statistics such as: - frequency, percentage, by using Statistical Packages for Social Science (SPSS) version 20.while the data obtained from interview, was analyzed qualitatively by narrating their words. . Finally, the data obtained from questionnaire were presented in the form of cross tabulation, tables, graphs, pie charts, diagrams and figures. While the data obtained from interview and open ended questionnaires were put in the form of text.

4. Results and discussion

4.1. Respondent’s agricultural land loses (2012-2016) due to urban expansion

Urban expansion consumes land in general and farm land in particular. Although urban expansion brings positive social changes, it also affects natural resources, particularly land when it is not properly planned. As it is shown on Figure 4.1, the participants involved in the study lost their land in different period as a result of urbanization since 2012 to 2016.

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Figure 4.1: Percentage of Participants who lost their Land during the Years 2012-2016.

According to Figure 4.1 above, 44.7% of the respondents have lost their land in 2012 followed by 20.1% in 2013, 22.6% in 2014, 6.9% in 2015 and 5.7% in 2016. In addition to these; the information obtained from the key informant interviews of the town administration indicated that majority of the land surrounding the town was occupied by urban expansion between the years 2012-2014 while it decreased after 2015 due to economic deficiency encountered by the municipality. This implies that urban expansion in the study area was more in the three consecutive years (2012, 2013 and2014).

4.2. The effects of urban expansion on farm land

Urban expansion have effects on farm land by taking the fertile land that ,the livelihoods of the local people depends on. Before urban expansion majority (40.9%) of the respondents had land sizes between 2.1-3 hectares while only (3%) of the respondents had land sizes below 1 hectare. This implies that nearly half of the respondents (40.9%) were owned farm land sizes between 2.1-3ha before they lost for urban expansion. While from the total sampled respondents 64.8% of the respondents were left only with land sizes between 0.5-2hacters while 10.1% of the selected respondents were becoming landless after the expansion of the town. From this we concluded that, urban expansion towards farm land will decrease the sizes of farm land owned by the respondents before urban expansion.


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Assessing the effects of urban expansion on farm land
The case of Tefki town
University of Gondar
Development studies
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ISBN (Book)
assessing, tefki
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Gadisa Worku (Author), 2019, Assessing the effects of urban expansion on farm land, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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