Full Length Research Paper

Land Suitability Evaluation for Cereal and Pulse Crops Using Geographical Information System in East Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Gizachew Ayalew1* and Yihenew G. Selassie2

Abstract

This study was carried out to spatially evaluate land suitability for maize (Z. mays L.), wheat (T. aestivum L.), soybean (G. max L.) and chickpea (C. arietinum L.) crops in the East Amhara Region, Ethiopia based on FAO guidelines. Geographical Information System (GIS) was used to develop land suitability map. Land characteristics (LC) and cropland use requirements (LUR) used as criteria for crop suitability analysis were soil depth, soil texture, available phosphorus, organic carbon, pH and slope. Surface soil samples at 0-30 cm depth from different soil types were collected and analyzed in the soil laboratory of Amhara Design and Supervision Works Enterprise (ADSWE). Crop suitability map was made by matching between reclassified LC with crop LUR using GIS model builder. The results indicated that the largest portion of the region 232 ha (85.8% and 321.69 ha (8.04%) were highly suitable for maize and wheat, respectively. However, the land use suitability analysis indicated that the largest portion of the region (2380 ha (59.5%), 1880 ha (47%), 1459.32 ha (36.48%) and 1464.12 ha (36.60%) were unsuitable for chickpea, soybean, maize and wheat production, respectively due to due to soil depth, texture, drainage, pH, soil organic matter and slope factors.

Key words: Chickpea, GIS, Maize, Soybean, Suitability, Wheat.

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