Agricultural Land Suitability Analysis for Potato Crop by Using GIS Technique in Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Mulualem Asfaw


Agriculture being the most primitive occupation of the most civilized mans and it should be supported by scholars. Agriculture in Ethiopia is characterized by low productivity due to low external inputs, lack of good farming practice deforestation which results soil erosion and decreasing productivity.  Potato is one of the most common food crops cultivated in Ethiopia spatially Amhara region. However, the current production supply couldn’t satisfy demands for this crop. As a result, effective method of assessing environmental suitability analysis to increase the production of this crop is needed. A multi factor spatial analysis can effectively assess the environmental suitability of an area for potato cultivation. However, there are no any comprehensive agricultural land suitability spatial analysis for the study yet. In an attempt to underscore its significance, this study conducted GIS based land suitability analysis. It involves identifying suitability factors, hierarchical organization, standardization, rating and ranking, and weighing the factors selected and finally implementing the suitability map. The evaluation criteria used are elevation, slope, soil, rainfall, temperature variations and poor crop management. They were collected from different government agencies. The ranking and weighting were conducted through pairwise comparison of map algebra in ArcGIS of variables using experts from Amhara Region Agricultural Research Institute. The weights of factors were estimated by computing map algebra values. Different suitability maps were prepared for each variable by combining different ArcGIS 10.4 extension tools were used, in this regard as it has the capacity to integrate these modules. Four suitability scenarios were developed using different standardization and combination methods. Using the suitability scenario method, finally physical land suitability analyses were conducted. The results of the analyses disclosed that large area of land on the highland plateau and plain of South Gondar, West Gojjam and Awi are suitable for potato crop cultivation. On the other hand, North Gondar and some part of East Gojjam are not suitable for potato growing.

Keywords: GIS, Remote Sensing, Suitability, Eigen vectors

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