Land Suitability Evaluation and Mapping for Some Selected Crops in South Western, Nigeria
Land suitability evaluation measures the degree of appropriateness of land for a certain use. Major causes of land degradation are as result of land mis-use and poor land management practices, which include agricultural crop cultivation, which is the mainstay economy in Nigeria. The aim of this study was to
identify and map out the land that can best support some crops in south western Nigeria using GIS and remote sensing techniques. Three suitability criteria; soil, climate (rainfall, temperature) and topography were evaluated based on FAO guideline to classify the land based on their suitability ranked as highly
suitable (S1), moderately suitable (S2), marginally suitable (S3) and not suitable (N). The study employed an integrated methodology for the analysing and mapping of the land suitability using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Suitability maps were generated by overlaying these areas with available land cover map created from Land Satellite (LANDSAT) images through supervised classification. The suitability analysis revealed Ekiti State with 1 969.43 Km2 suitable for maize cultivation, Lagos State had 822.71 Km2 suitable for cultivation of soya bean, Ogun State had 4024.75 Km2 suitable for cultivation of guinea corn. In addition, Ondo State had 4024.75 Km2 suitable of rice production, Osun State had 2982.79 Km2suitable of cassava cultivation and Oyo State had 8726.1 9 Km 2 suitable for production of yam. The study developed land suitability evaluation maps for some selected crops in south western Nigeria, with varying results from state to state. The findings from the study will help governments and farmers to better plan crops production activities in order to address the problem of increasing food insecurity.