Suitability of large scale Jatropha curcus cultivation in Edo State: a preliminary assessment using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method
AbstractThe aim of this study is to assess the suitability of agro-ecological regions for Jatropha Curcas cultivation using GIS and Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) tools. Rainfall amount and temperature data were collected from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Federal Ministry of Aviation, Oshodi, Lagos and Climate Prediction Centre of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for a period of 3 years (2010 - 2012). Rainfall amounts in Edo state ranges between 1400mm-1500mm in the south most part of the state and decreases to 1200mm-1350mm at the centre of the State and 1000mm-1200mm in the north. These values fall within the optimal range for Jatropha cultivation. There are six (6) to seven (7) months of moisture adequacy in Edo state usually from April/May – September/October. Within this period, there is adequate moisture supply to satisfy the consumptive needs of Jatrophacultivation during its vegetative and flowering/fruiting stages. There are two rainfall peaks in Edo state namely May/June and September/October which guarantees two-times planting seasons, namely April planting season prior to the first rainfall peak in May/June and July/August planting season before the last rainfall peak (September/October). Runoff peaks in Edo state occur between September and October. Within this period soils are at field capacity and not suitable for onset of Jatropha cultivation. Analysis of slope conditions in Edo state showed that vast expanse of land in the state may be categorized as highly suitable with small patches of moderately suitable locations in the north. Soil condition in Edo state showed marginally suitable for soils in the mangrove region, southernmost part of the state and moderately suitable for hydromorphic soils of the Owena Basin west of the State. Finally, the result of multi-criteria analysis showed that Edo state can be grouped into two main classes of suitability namely; moderately and highly.
Keywords: Jatropha Curcas, Energy production, Climatic factors, moisture storage, Soil condition
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