A spatial analysis of factors influencing farmland conversion in the Bangkok metropolitan area, Thailand Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/s7526f96m

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  • Agricultural land conversion is a complex process that involves a matrix of decisions and decision-makers. This study examines the nature and relative significance of spatial factors that influence the decisions of farmers who either sell farmland to developers for urban use or retain it for agricultural use. The conceptual model views farmers as boundedly rational individuals who seek satisfying economic and noneconomic returns from land. Their decisions are influenced by urban-generated factors that reflect land demand, by agricultural factors that determine the economic viability of agriculture under urban influences as well as by the decision-makers' characteristics. The study is done within the political and socioeconomic context of Bangkok, Thailand. The Thonburi region of the Bangkok Metropolitan Area is chosen as an example of a land use transition zone experiencing various urbanization pressures. Aerial photography is used to establish the location and magnitude of agricultural to urban land conversion between 1967 and 1983. Data from land use maps constructed from the air photo base maps and data from the Agricultural Census are used to test the research hypotheses of the study. The two primary research questions are: 1) Are the farmers' decisions to hold or to sell land related to urbanization pressures, economic viability of agriculture and farmers' characteristics?; and 2) What is the relative significance of these factors in influencing land conversion? Bivariate correlation and multiple regression analyses reveal the significant relationships of farmland conversion and the following variables: accessibility of land parcels, level of agricultural investment, age, education and occupational status. The dominant explanatory variables are the proximity to community centers and major roads. Secondary to them are the roles of farmers' age, education level and investment in irrigation. The effects of the other decision-maker's characteristics and agricultural variables are marginal but statistically significant. The study provides insight into the roles of agricultural viability as well as urban demand factors and decision-maker's characteristics in influencing the pace of land conversion in the developing country.
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