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Agro-Land suitability assessment for Rice and Sugarcane using Remote sensing and GIS synergism

Shamla Rasheed1, R Vidhya2, K Venugopal3
Institute of Remote Sensing, Anna University, Chennai-25
1-Research Scholar, 2-Lecturer, 3–Director
Phone:044 2352189-37, Fax: 2352166
Email: shamlarasheed @yahoo.com

Natural resources in the arid environment are declining its productivity and require special attention, and if the ecological condition persists, a further decline in resources may result in land degradation. Therefore we should look for the optimum solution regarding the land-use planning. Remote sensing has shown greater potential in agricultural mapping and monitoring due to its advantages over traditional procedures in terms of cost effectiveness and timeliness in the availability of information over larger areas. GIS become a flexible and powerful tool than conventional data processing systems, as it provides a mean for manipulating and combining datasets. The objective of the study is to find out the agro-land suitability zones for the major economic crops of that area. Land suitability evaluation is the process of assessing the land for specific use. The terrain characteristics, soil quality and climatic conditions are the important for land suitability evaluations. The suitability for various potential land uses is identified in relation to individual crop requirements. Landuse requirements are described by the land qualities needed for sustained production. The land evaluation was formulated with the objective of classifying units objective of classifying units of land as to their suitability for combining economic crops using GIS and remotely sensed data. The study area, Vellore district covers extensively in the Palar Basin, Northern TamilNadu. The major economic crops in this area are rice and sugarcane. Crop suitability is a result of both agro-climatic units and agro-edaphic evaluation. The topographical details to be analyzed for suitability mapping include slope, soil type, soil depth, soil texture, soil moisture regime, water availability, mean annual precipitaion and number of dry months. The suitability is based on the FAO framework for Land Evaluation. The various thematic layers are overlaid to create land units of unique characteristics. The factor ratings and values for each agro-land characteristics are done using AHP technique. Suitability distribution (very suitable, suitable, moderately suitable, marginally suitable and not suitable) with regard to rainfed and irrigated conditions are obtained. Land suitability mapping can be used as a guideline in agricultural planning and for developing and driving a best practice systems to achieve a scale of operations.