Research Projects

Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management Group

LucFRes - Land-use change and the resilience of food production systems

Land use constrains the future of food production in the face of climate change. It is a major driver of processes degrading both land and marine-based natural resources. The production of food is affected as agroecosystem functions and services diminish when agricultural lands degrade. Hence, threatening the resilience of Farming Systems used in producing food (FPSs). How agricultural land change builds or undermines food production and the resilience of FPSs is still poorly understood. LucFRes integrates both quantitative and qualitative research methods to analyze agricultural land use change and crop type mapping from remote sensing and machine learning with stakeholders' perceptions of resilience and desirable land use futures. Using smallholder farming systems in Southwest Nigeria (SWN) as test cases, an empirical basis for modelling FPSs under changing land use and policy conditions will be provided. Aimed at enhancing their resilience, LucFres contributes to understanding how agricultural land use and change impact FPSs resilience.

The main research question concerns how changes to land use constrain food production, especially in smallholder contexts characterized by competing land demands.
Objectives include:
· Assessing and quantifying agricultural land use dynamics and projections in multi-decade time steps
· Assessing and modelling the resilience of FPSs under different scenarios

As impacts from land use change are global challenges, there is the possibility to address these questions in other places other than the focus region of Nigeria in LucFres. 


Team: Dr. Felicia Akinyemi (Principal Investigator), Prof. Dr. Chinwe Ifejika Speranza

Duration: 2022 - 2024

Funding: This  research  was  conducted  within  the  Land-use  Change  and  the  Resilience  of  Food Production Systems (LucFRes) project. This project has received funding from the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska - Curie (grant agreement no. 101025259). For more information, visit:

Contact: Dr. Felicia Akinyemi ;


Akinyemi FO, Rufin P, Ibrahim ES, Hostert P, Ogunsumi LO, Egbetokun OA, Ifejika Speranza C. (preprint, 2023). Untangling intercropping in heterogeneous smallholder maize-cassava farming systems with Remote Sensing.

Akinyemi FO, Ifejika Speranza C. (preprint, 2024). Land transformation on multi-decadal timescales reveals expanding croplands and settlements at the expense of tree-covered areas and mangroves in Nigeria.