Combination of Fuzzy and AHP methods to assess land suitability for barley: Case Study of semi arid lands in the southwest of Iran

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Dept. of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Dept. of Range and Watershed Management, Agriculture College and Natural Resources of Darab, Shiraz University, Darab, Iran

Abstract

Land suitability analysis, commonly known as land evaluation, is considered an interface between land resource
survey and land use planning and management. Land evaluation be carried out to estimate the suitability of land for
a specific use such as arable farming or irrigated agriculture. There are several established techniques for generating
land suitability evaluation. This research was carried out to evaluate the capability of a combined fuzzy AHP method
for land suitability evaluation for barley crops in the southwest of Iran, and to compare the results with the standard
method of the FAO framework. Eight soil parameters were chosen for cropland suitability analysis and thematic
maps were developed with Kriging method for each of these parameters. Different fuzzy membership functions
obtained from the literature were employed and weights for each parameter were calculated according to AHP.
Landscape and soil requirements for barley were determined based on the FAO method. Finally, land suitability
classes were provided for each land unit. Comparing the results with expert judgments shows that the fuzzy AHP
method has a higher accuracy than the standard FAO method. Further development of the fuzzy AHP method would
be advantageous for improving the accuracy of land suitability analysis.

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