In addition to climate change, agricultural land around the world is threatening and the rapid development of cities and the unstoppable expansion of urban areas. According to the study published in PNAS, the number of urban areas by 2030 will triple the surface, which will restrict and undermine number of large arable land.
More than half of the world’s arable land (60%), the researchers note, is a suburb of the city. This is a worrying rate, because they generally just suburban agricultural land twice more productive than other arable land.
Urban expansion will by 2030 result in the loss of arable land in the range of 1.8 to 2.4% with significant regional variations. 80% loss of arable land due to the expansion of cities will be recorded in Africa and Asia, while the global lose 3-4% of world agricultural production.
For this reason, the management of urban expansion is a key factor for ensuring sustainable economies in developing countries. Another major concern is the impact that the loss of agricultural land have on crops such as corn, rice, soybeans and wheat.
Many of these crops are grown in areas that will become urban areas. Because of urbanization in Nigeria will be in danger 17% of the total national production of rice and 12% of the total national maize production. In Egypt, urban expansion will “eat” as much as 40% of rice crops over 60% of the corn crop. Looking at the level of the continent, scientists estimate that in Africa due to urban expansion have lost 26% of wheat crops.