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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020423

The Dynamics of Land Use/Cover and the Statistical Assessment of Cropland Change Drivers in the Kabul River Basin, Afghanistan

1
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad, 500 030, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract

To cope with the growing agrarian crises in Afghanistan, the government (following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2002) has taken measures through cropland expansion “extensification” and switching to mechanized agriculture “intensification”. However, cropland expansion, on one hand, disturbs the existing land use/cover (LULC) and, on other hand, many socio-economic and biophysical factors affect this process. This study was based on the Kabul River Basin to answer two questions: Firstly, what was the change in LULC since 2001 to 2010 and, secondly, what are the drivers of cropland change. We used the spatial calculating model (SCM) for LULC change and binomial logistic regression (BLR) for drivers of cropland change. The net change shows that cropland, grassland, water-bodies, and built-up areas were increased, while forest, unused, and snow/ice areas were decreased. Cropland was expanded by 13%, which was positively affected by low and plain landforms, slope, soil depth, investment on agriculture and distance to the city, while it was negatively affected by plateaus and hill landforms, dry semi-arid, moist semi-arid, and sub-humid zones, precipitation, population, and the distance to roads and water. Climate adaptation measures, cropland protection in flood prone zones, population and rural migration control, farmer access to credit, irrigation, and inputs are necessary for agricultural deployment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Kabul river basin; land use/cover change; spatial calculating model (SCM); binomial logistic regression (BLR) Kabul river basin; land use/cover change; spatial calculating model (SCM); binomial logistic regression (BLR)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Najmuddin, O.; Deng, X.; Bhattacharya, R. The Dynamics of Land Use/Cover and the Statistical Assessment of Cropland Change Drivers in the Kabul River Basin, Afghanistan. Sustainability 2018, 10, 423.

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