Our analysis uncovers some key trends in agricultural land loss. First, during 2001 – 2010, India lost 0.7 million hectares (roughly five times the size of Delhi) of its agricultural land to urban expansion. Second, agricultural land loss is occurring around smaller cities more than around bigger cities. Third, the northeastern states experienced the least amount of agricultural land loss compared to other states (Fig 2).
This is a pattern that is repeated all over the globe. Historically, cities have been located close to good agricultural land so that the urban population could be fed. But as cities grow and sprawl the close by farmland becomes more "valuable"--in the short term at least--for housing people than for growing their food. Is that sustainable?