Open Access

ISSN: 2168-9881

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GIS Based Physical Land Suitability Evaluation for Crop Production in Eastern Ethiopia: A Case Study in Jello Watershed

Rediet Girma, Awdenegest Moges and Shoeb Quraishi

This study was aimed at identifying the current physical land suitability for maize, wheat and sorghum in Jello watershed under Chiro woreda in accordance to the FAO (1976) framework. The suitability mapping carried out with the help of GIS was compare with the LU being practiced. Relevant land quality (LQ) and land characteristics (LCs) data on climate, topography and soil following medium intensity survey technique were collected and the analysis was held after converting the data into a usable format for the LE process. Consequently through the querying analysis, the suitability rating process was run for individual LCs and based on the maximum limitation method, the overall suitability was assigned for specific land mapping units (LMUs) and displayed as suitability map with the integration of GIS. Results showed that out of the 1650ha, wheat production was moderately suitable (S2) on 6%; marginally suitable (S3) on 33% and not appropriate (N) on 61% of the land. 52% and 48% of the area was marginally suitable (S3) and unsuitable (N) for maize cultivation respectively. 33% of the area was marginally suitable (S3) and the rest (67%) was not suitable (N) for sorghum. Overall, presently none of the thirty three LMU fell under highly suitable (S1) class and based on the individual LCs, fertility status (exceedingly available P not assigned as S1) was found to be the most severe limiting factor. The comparison made between the existing land use being practiced and the findings from this study showed, 800ha (48%) and 1100ha (67%) area of land was mismatched (currently not suitable) for maize and sorghum cultivation respectively. Based on the analysis, wheat cultivation is relatively better (moderately suited) than the land use being practiced (maize and sorghum) on the bases of the present situation for 100ha (LMU23 and 30).