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Aim: To determine the effect of urban development on agricultural resources in peri-urban areas of Embu town.
Study Design: Descriptive survey design involving observational and survey methods.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in three sub-locations lying within the peri-urban areas of Embu town, namely, Kamiu to the East, Njukiri to the West and Nthambo to the North of the town. The study was carried out from June to August 2018.
Methodology: Purposive stratified sampling was applied in this study where the three sub-locations were organized into three strata depending on their distance from the Central Business District i.e. 2, 4 and 6 Km for Kamiu, Njukiri and Nthambo respectively. A structured questionnaire was administered to 51 households per sub-location making a total of 153 respondents. Additional data was collected using personal observations and interviews with selected institutions with key information relating the study area. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Descriptive analysis was carried out to generate frequencies and correlations. Quantitative data was subjected to Analysis of Variance where the three sub-locations were considered as treatments and means separated using Least Significant Difference at 95% level of confidence.
Results: The results indicated that urban development had encroached into hitherto agricultural areas exerting pressure into available agricultural resources such as land, water and labour thus contributing to reduced farming activities in the area. Significant differences between the three sub-locations were observed in average farm sizes, proportion of land allocated to farming, proportion of farmers in the area and availability of irrigation water and agricultural labour. The study recommends policy interventions to manage peri-urbanization in Embu and other towns with similar set up, in order to reduce degradation of agricultural resources and control unsustainable land sub-division and land use changes.
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