The management of resource use in semi-arid lands : a case study of agricultural development in Jebel El Akhdar region, North East Libya
This thesis is an in-depth case study in agricultural resource management for semi-arid regions based on primary data for 120 farms gathered in the three farming areas of the Jebel El Akhdar region of north-east Libya and on secondary data for the physical environment. The research analyses the impact of agricultural development on farm structure in the study area. Social and economic change is evaluated with a view to the resolution of long-standing regional problems of the physical and human limitations on the progress of agricultural development. This study provides an overview of resource management together with a geographical treatment of physical landscape and social resources. Thus it provides an integrated review of the rural resource system. It isolates potential and actual conflicts between resources in farming with the help of detailed case studies by comparing two types of farming systems according to development policy. Modern farms, either rainfed or irrigated, are developed with intermediate technology, and are very different from small traditional irrigated farms. The study also addresses a number of questions concerning the agricultural' policy bias towards new modern farming methods . It is shown that the use of capital intensive technology of government projects severely affects land potential in the long term. All in all, the state has played a dominant role in developing and changing the farm structure in Libya. Increasing oil revenues have made available massive funds for economic and social development programmes and facilitated certain changes in agricultural land use. Arable land has experienced and continues to experience rapid expansion and in many cases this growth has outpaced the planning process, reducing its effectiveness to control vertical expansion and creating serious problems of physical resource management and social adaptation. This study highlights the major problems facing Libyan agriculture in terms of farm and resources management conflict and development policies.