Land Suitability Characterization for Crop and Fruit Production in Midlands of Tigray, Ethiopia
The aim of this evaluation was to find out which parcels of land may best support the different crops and fruits commonly grown by the local farmer and recommend these results to the local stakeholder for an increased yield. The focus was on food crops and fruits those can be used to alleviate poverty and improve nutrition in farm households, with the highest priority assigned to crops and fruits already well established in the area. Remote sensing (ILWIS3.3) and GIS (ArcView3.2) softwares were used to establish the land unit maps of the area. The land suitability assessment for annual crops and fruit trees was carried out with the use of the parametric methodology. Results showed that the cultivated land under question is marginally suitable (S3) for Zea mays L.; 91.5% of the land is S3 for Cicer arietinium, Psidium guajava and Mangifera indica; 68.9% is S3 for Persea americana and Hordeum vulgare L.; 77.4% is S3 for Carica papaya L. and Sorghum bicolor L. Moench. The use of land according to its suitability class or mitigating the limiting factors is, therefore, paramount for increased production.
Keywords: Suitability, Crops, Fruits, Midlands, Cultivated land, Tigray.