Prepare Sustainable Strategic development Plans for a selected Tea Estate in Mid-country region in Sri Lanka using GIS
R.M.S.S. Rajapakse, J.A.A.M. Jayakody and M. Jayawardena
Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka,
St. Coombs, Talawakele, Sri Lanka
Up-to-date and reliable information is vital for managerial purposes and take efficient planning decisions. Researchers, policy makers as well as estate managing companies may wish to integrate socio-economic, spatial and temporal data in order to make Sustainable Strategic Development Plans (SSDP).
Remote Sensing and GIS is widely accepted as a tool for the establishment of integrating spatial and attribute data. In recent years the development of Geographical Information system (GIS) makes timely accessible of spatial and temporal data (Burrough, 1986). Moreover, its capability of spatial analysis and presentation makes it useful tool for studying land use change and developing sustainable land use plans.
Objectives of the study
The major national objective of tea industry is to utilize available lands on estates towards sustainable development by ensuring land use efficiency with proper soil conservation measures and environment protection. In addition, producersí objective is to manage tea estates to maximize profits. Therefore, the overall objective of this project is to identify suitable strategic land use development plan for marginal tea estates to maximize their profits.
Westhall Estate, a marginal tea estates in mid country tea growing area in Sri Lanka was selected for this study. Westhall estate is managing by Kahawatte plantations Ltd.
Procedure of compilation of existing maps and Data is presented in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the methodology
Aerial photographic interpretation and detailed field checking methodology was used for identify estate and field boundaries, identify land use types as well as identify landforms for soil survey.
The interpretation of aerial photographs was carried out on stereo panchromatic aerial photographs taken in 1987 and 1994, with an average scale of 1:15000. Using a Zoom Sterosketch (model SB215), a basic interpretation of photographs was performed in Upper Mahaweli Watershed management project office at Polgolla, Sri Lanka. The scale of the final field boundaries, land use and soil maps are 1:10,000 scale.
0 The location of the estate is as Shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Locations of the Westhall Estates
Field boundaries of selected estate with location are presented in following figure.
Fig. 2. Location and Field boundary Map of Westhall Estate
Land use is the use of land by humans usually with an emphasis on the functional role of the land in economic activities. Tea based land use types are very complicated as tea estates are associated with different agronomic practices. Prior to planting tea, soil rehabilitating grasses such as Tripsacum laxum or Cymbopogon confertiflorus are establishing in fields.
The percentage of tea crop cover is a major indicator for crop yield. Therefore crop cover percentage considered for land use categorization. Major categories associated in tea estates can be classified as follows;
Topographic and soil properties are major factors which affect for vegetation condition. Topographic factors include slope, elevation and aspect. Elevation affects the temperature, slope affects the insolation and runoff of the habitat and aspect affects insolation. Westhall Estate fall in greater than 800m amsl and less than 1600m amsl elevation category.
The angle at which a slope resides can affect soil properties and as a result of this affect crop condition. Slope affects the movement of water on the land surface and through its soils. Sites on crests and ridge tops and steep slopes shed water into the neighboring low-lying areas.
According to the advisory circulars of Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka slopes greater than 55% are not recommended for plant Tea in mid country tea growing region. This condition was considered for classified slope classes.
Nine aspect classes were identifies according to the compass direction in which slope faces.
Soil survey was done by collaborating with Soils and Plant Nutrition division, Tea Research institute of Sri Lanka for determining the important characteristics of soil, classifying soils into units and establishing and plotting on soil maps. Crops and soil management practices are so sensitive to the differences in soil. Soil maps serve as the basis for different crop management and agronomic recommendations.
The soil series is a group of soils having soil horizons similar in differentiating characteristics and arrangement in the soil profile, except for the texture of the soil surface and developed from a particular type of parent material. The soil series by itself is seldom used as a mapping unit in any survey. Soil series are differentiated mainly on the basis of significant variations in the morphological features of the soil profile (Soil survey manual, 1966). The soil series names are place names taken from the area where the soil is first defined such as Barcaple, Westhall and Hungranoya.
The upper limit and the lower limit of a depth class, applied to any one soil, are fixed in definite figures. These limits need to vary somewhat among soils depending on the other soil characteristics (Soil survey manual, 1966).
Rockiness refers to the relative proportion of bedrock exposures, either rock outcrops or patches of soil too thin over bedrock use, in soil area (Soil survey manual, 1966).
Sustainable Strategic Development Planning criteria
Major landuse planning criteria were developed to achieve following options;
Fig 3: Structure Chart for SSDP criteria development
Proposed strategic sustainable development plan and statistics of planning options for the Westhall estate shows in Table 2 and Fig. 4 respectively.
Table 2: Statistics of proposed land use plan for Westhall estate
Fig. 4. Proposed land use plan for Westhall Estate
Up-to-date and reliable information is vital for managerial purposes and take efficient decisions. Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) technology can be used as tools for update estate information. In addition developing land use planning system-using SSDP can be used for estates for maximizing their profits and optimizing lands.
Authors would like to appreciate greatly the support given by the Director and the staff of Upper Mahaweli Watershed management Project, Mahaweli Authority, Pogolla, Sri Lanka for utilization their instruments and resources. Financial Assistance grant by Council for Agricultural Research Policy, Sri Lanka (CARP) for conducting this study is highly appreciated.
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