Land Suitability Evaluation for Alfalfa and Barley Based on FAO and Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Approaches in Iranian Arid Region

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 College of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Dept. of Environment and Soil Science, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain

Abstract

The present research aims to apply several approaches for suitability evaluation of lands under cultivation of
alfalfa and barley in Chaharmil mechanized farming center, Ardestan town, Isfahan province, Iran. Climatic and
soil maps of the climate and soil data were provided in raster format. Land evaluation carried out using maximum
limitation, parametric and multi-criteria (Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and fuzzy AHP) approaches. Land
indices, calculated by these methods were correlated with the observed yields. The best relationships were given
by fuzzy AHP for alfalfa and barley, which illustrates the accuracy of this approach for land evaluation. The
results of fuzzy AHP showed that the majority of the study area is potentially more suitable for alfalfa than for
barley. The membership functions revealed that soil texture is the main constraint for alfalfa and barley
production.

Keywords