Properties Changes and Links Land Uses in the Lower and Upper Embu Zones Series NO.7

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Date
1997
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International Centre for Research in Agroforestry
Abstract
In eastern and central Africa, land for agricultural production can be divided into 2 major ecological areas: the extensive arid and semi-arid lands, and the humid lands. The humid lands, found mainly in the cool tropical highlands ranging in altitude from 1200 to 3300 m, are favourable for farming, and their agricultural potential is high (ICRAF 1994). These humid lands are also centres of high population density and population growth. As they cover only a small part of the region, compared with the arid and semi-arid lands, the lower lands remain an outlet for the populations of the high-potential areas, and there are strong links between the 2. Land-use practices and land-use dynamics are very different in these 2 ecological zones. By examining the trends, we can gain an understanding of the constraints to future agricultural development or, conversely, the thresholds to it. Using aerial photos and satellite imagery, this paper characterizes these land-use systems over the past 40 years.
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