Agricultural land use suitability analysis using GIS and AHP technique
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The aim of this study was to determine suitable lands for agricultural use in the Yusufeli district of Artvin city (Turkey), where the current agricultural land in the district center and 3 villages will be completely inundated while the land in 22 villages will be partially inundated due to three large dams currently being constructed. The ‘‘Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)’’ method, commonly used in land use suitabil- ity analysis, was utilized in this study. In application, the parameters of great soil group, land use capa- bility class, land use capability sub-class, soil depth, slope, aspect, elevation, erosion degree and other soil properties were used. In determining the weights of the parameters, experts’ opinions were consulted, and the agricultural land suitability map generated was divided into 5 categories according to the land suitability classi?cation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). After deducting the forests, pastures and reservoir areas from the reclassi?ed suitability map, it was estimated that 0.08% of the study area (177.87 ha) is highly suitable for agricultural production, while 1.55% (3578.33 ha) is moderately suitable and 6.3% (14575.91 ha) is marginally suitable for agricultural production. In addition, it was found that the proportion of land that is currently unsuitable for agricultural production is 2.24% (5183.63 ha), while the amount of land that is permanently unsuitable is 3.42% (7923.39 ha). It was also determined that the following facts were all effective factors in reaching these results: a substantial por- tion (approximately 85%) of the study area is covered with forests and pastures, the soil depth is inade- quate for agricultural production, the slope in the study area is quite high and, accordingly, the erosion degree is high.