Types of flows and linkages between rural and urban areas
materials (agricultural products, farming machines, chemical fertilizers, etc.)
information and cash (technology, market demand and etc.)
Urban area as supply area
cash / capital
farming methods, technology
machinery, chemical fertilizers, pesticide, seeds
goods and services
Urban areas as market areas
other resources such as fresh water, recreational resource
It is because there are goods and services of different orders. They have different market thresholds and ranges of goods, then, urban centres are arranged into different sizes or orders to provided different goods and services.
In 19th Century, the direction of population flow is from rural to urban because of Industrial Revolution. Mechanization in farming led to excess labour in rural area. Industrialization in urban area demanded large number of workers. The employment opportunities and high living standard in urban created strong urban pull effect.
In 20th Century, the direction of population flow is from urban to rural because of suburbanization and counter-urbanization. The land use competition and the problems in urban area created strong push effect. The better living environment and improving transportation and facilities in rural area are great attraction to people living in urban.
II. Population Re-distribution and Impact on Agricultural Landscapes
Differential migration (Selectivity of migration)
(1) Most migration groups consist of younger people because young people are more aggressive, ambitious and have better education. They can find jobs more easily in urban and can adapt to urban life more easily. Their opportunity cost of leaving rural area is lower because they do not own much in rural area.
(2) It is usual to find the better educated people leaving the rural areas because they can find jobs more easily in urban and can adapt to urban life more easily. They get more information about urban. The available jobs in rural are less suitable for them.
Men are more migratory because they are more aggressive, ambitious and have better education. They can find jobs more easily in urban and can adapt to urban life more easily. They do not need to take up the duty of taking care of the aged and children.
Women are more migratory because their opportunity cost of leaving rural area is lower because they do not own much in rural area. Many industries in urban need cheap labour which suit female workers.
Single people are more likely to migrate because they don’t have strong family tie and their opportunity cost of leaving is low.
(5) Attempts to improve the provision of social facilities in rural areas would result in
fewer out-migration from rural area because it will satisfy their demand for better living environment. Improvement works also provide employment opportunities to them.
more out-migration from rural area because more information from urban area encourages out-migration. Improvement works also stimulate greater expectation and higher demand of standard of living.
(6) From any one origin, the number of out-migrants to a specific destination shows a high correlation with distance between the origin and the destinations because of distance decay function. The information available becomes less as the friction of distance increases.
Farming structure in regions of declining agricultural labour force
In the developed world, the declining agricultural labour force has led to
The large area of farm, shortage of labour and high labour cost in the advanced countries will influence the farmers' choice of farming methods
More extensive farming methods are adopted
They try to maximize outputs per capita and lower return per hectare
They will spend more on labour-saving machinery
More capital intensive farming will be practiced
Re-organization of service centres
Rural depopulation will make the market threshold smaller over rural areas and the improvement in transportation will make range of goods longer. Then, the number of service centres over rural area will become less. Usually, smaller centres will most probably decline.
Population Cycle of Rural Area in MDCs
1 - population growth because of decrease in death rate
2 - stability in population because of decrease in birth rate
3 - rural depopulation because of rural-urban migration
4 - increase in population due to counter-urbanization
Major cause of urbanization
Farm mechanization creates excess labour
Industrialization provide employment in urban and improve the living standard
Over-population and shortage of farmland, natural hazards forced rural population rushes into primate city
Population change in rural area
Absolute decrease in population
Shortage of labour
Decrease in population is relatively insignificant under rapid population growth and their marginal productivity tends to be zero because actually there is not enough farmland.
Economic development in urban area
Provision of labour helps industrial and economic development. Snowballing effect starts and associated development continues.
Unemployment and urban problems are common. Available of cheap labour discourages farm mechanization and hi-tech industrial development.
Changes in farming size
Farm consolidation and increase in farm size
Farm size remain small and farm fragmentation is great as usual
Changes in farming Methods
Extensive farming methods
Large farm size and field size
No great change
For area far away from urban and with no anticipation of urban encroachment,
large scale commercial farming
In some case, flow back of urban cash improve the living standard
In some case, loss of productive adult lowers the productivity
Polarization in rural economies becomes serious
Rural depopulation speeds up rural decay and abandoned land increase over area near to large urban centre
Family and social problems
Urbanization will bid up the land value around the urban fringe and because of the competition of industrialization, the labour cost is also higher. It means that the production cost under urbanization and industrialization becomes higher and higher. Therefore, the following farming characteristics can be found near to urban:
Percentage of total area in farmland is lower
Percentage of land in crops is higher
Percentage of land in fallow is lower
Percentage of land in multiple cropping is higher
Percentage of all farms that are horticulture is higher
Percentage of all farms that are dairying is higher
Percentage of all farms that are pigs and poultry is higher
Labour input per hectare is higher
Capital input per hectare is higher
Wage rate is higher
Total input per hectare is higher
Price of agricultural products are higher
Net income per hectare is higher
Percentage of small farms is higher
Percentage of farms that are tenanted is higher
Percentage of part-time farms is
Percentage of farms that are fragmented is higher
Variance in rainfall in Singapore
Variance in rainfall in Edmonton
Edmonton has greater fluctuation in rainfall.
The general pattern of July rainfall in this area is uneven(a skewed distribution). With almost half of the years have no rainfall at all in July. Medium rainfall is 10 mm and average rainfall is 30 mm. As much as 150-200 mm have been recorded on rare occasions.
Average precipitation is distorted by rare instances of high rainfall and does not give a true impression of the generally arid conditions here.
(c) (i) insufficient rainfall leads to crop failure in approximately 2 out of 3 years
(ii) There is approximately a 1 in 3 chance of failure or being damaged because of too much rainfall.
(d) Flash flooding is likely to be the main environmental hazard because of the unusual occurrence of high rainfall.
This, in turn, may lead to erosion by landslip and flow etc.
Drought may be a hazard if a situation of no rainfall extends over a period of some months.
The pattern of discharge in this river basin
Annual variation - one peak discharge and one low discharge. They are in regular rhythm.
Long term variation – sudden increase or decrease in discharge; less frequent
(b) (i) basin inundation in times of floods
build water storage tanks and barrages to store water for use in the low water season
build irrigation canal networks for areas further away from the river
wet crop (e.g. rice) in period of annual flooding
dry crops(e.g. wheat) in period of low discharge
field for wet crops sited near river
fields for dry crops sited further away from rivers or in higher ground
settlement are built on higher ground away from river
(c) (i) floods – in times of exceptional high discharge
droughts – to regular river discharge
Preventive measure – reservoirs
Rationale – to regulate river discharge
Water is stored behind dams / in reservoirs in times of
high discharge, or
low water demand from agriculture
Water is release in times of
high water demand, or
When in times of excessive water levels, water may be
diverted to bypass populated or farming areas, or
purposely allowed to flood some specially assigned zone (flood diversion areas)
Deforestation due to expansion of farmland, getting timber for firewood or construction
Overfarming due to food demand from increasing population
Deforestation and overfarming will increase evapotranspiration and soil erosion. Increasing load amount of rivers will lead to silting and flooding.
The possible consequence of the introduction of Green Revolution progarmme in developing countries
- polarization of society
high yields do not always mean high return for the farmers because prices may be lowered. Thus income is not guaranteed. Those who benefit most are : government bureaucrats (from corruption), internal companies (from selling factors of production), landlords (from controlling more land and exporting more farm products), and industrialist (from lower wages due to more abundant supply of food). Investment Is always concentrated on the land controlled by landlords
- many farmers do not want to risk bad harvest. Some are too conservative to try new crops
- many owner-occupiers suffer from bankruptcy when they are unable to re-pay their debts. As a result, they have to sell their land, always at much lower prices, to landlords, and they become farm labourers or tenants
in order to minimize cost and avoid crop-sharing with the tenants, landlords always introduce mechanization to their farms. They may stop renting their lands and start large-scale commercial farming by employing farm labourers
higher productivity will result in higher land price, it will result in higher rents for tenants, higher taxes for owner-occupiers and attract speculation on land (by both landlords and capitalists from the city)
food supply to the rural population disturbed as owner-occupiers and tenants lose their farms, crop-sharing replaced by cash tenancy and farming becomes export-oriented, with the choice of crop depending on external demand
- agricultural production, export and GNP of the country may be higher, but there would be a tremendous loss in foreign currency due to the import of machines, seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides
- locally developed hybrids are always neglected, but they are always more adaptable to the local environment than the imported ones
- good farming practices for soil conservation are neglected, and are replaced by increasing application and reliance on chemicals
(a) nucleated pattern (b) disperse pattern (c) disperse pattern (d) linear pattern
Factors Favouring Nucleated Pattern.
Man is social animal and prefers to inhabit a large communal dwelling, therefore, tends to choose to live in a compact village or town.
Practice of living in compact settlement was fostered amongst newly settled communities because of the necessity of dealing effectively with a hostile and strange environment, and to enjoy the social benefit or village life.
A nucleated settlement pattern may have a higher defensive power both for human attacks or natural hazards. e.g. the walled village in the New Territories in Hong Kong.
Modern system like commune and collective farming system favours a nucleated settlement pattern.
A nucleated settlement may be a response to certain types of physical environment. e.g. where water is scare and hard to get, like in the deserts, compact villages were found where deep wells were dug. (oasis)
Smooth relief favours concentrated settlement
Fertile land attracts and ensures concentration of people.
Kinship relations and social organization are the bond of social group and habit of communal living development.
Farming system such as padi-rice cultivation demands for cooperation amongst farmers. It will encourage farmers to live close to each other and large village is resulted
In areas of large holding and exploitations, landlords tend to concentrate their tenants in order to keep them at hand.
Factors Favouring Disperse Pattern
Disperse settlements are normal in many unrewarding highland and forested area where agricultural activities are hindered by a difficult terrain, a harsh climate and infertile soil.
Change from communal land ownership and landlordism to individual land holding is one reason for replacement of nucleated by disperse settlement. e.g. the break down of large plantation into small holding in Malaysia.
The coming of settled and peaceful period for a long time allow people to disperse more safely, especially when communication is improved.
Transportation improvement is very important factor accounting for the disperse of settlement in more developed countries.
Mechanization and new technology enable the development of a large scale extensive farming which will result in disperse pattern. e.g. commercial livestock farming in Australia
Transformation of group settlement into disperse settlement coincide with agricultural process since it permit a cultivator to establish himself close to his fields. e.g. the tenant farmers coming from mainland China in the 1950s and 1960s.