Strong economic incentives stimulate the conversion of farmland to non-farm uses possessing higher economic benefits, and rising land values can result in further conversions in the surrounding areas. However, previous studies focused exclusively on the analysis of attribute data, without concern for location or geographic information. Our study focuses on the application of spatial analysis method by exploring the magnitude and patterns of farmland use changes and farmland transactions in Tainan County in southwestern Taiwan. The results show that farmland use changes and transactions appear to cluster in specific locations-near urban planning areas, industrial parks, and science parks. Clustered farmland use changes indicate both excessive development of some farmland and possible protection of other farmland, while clustered farmland transactions indicate potential pressure for future conversion to non-farming uses. Overall, the spatial analyses indicate (without necessarily implying a cause-and-effect relationship) that the greater the farmland use change, the greater the number of farmland transactions. This approach to exploring the spatial patterns in and the interaction between farmland use change and farmland transactions can be applied to other regions facing increasing competition for farmland conversions and may be a useful tool for monitoring both urban expansion and increased farmland transactions. These occurrences should be closely monitored by governments to avoid excessive loss of farmland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes