Crop Suitability Mapping for Rice, Cassava, and Yam in North Central Nigeria

Roland Clement Abah, Brilliant Mareme Petja


Agricultural production has contributed over time to food security and rural economic development in developing countries particularly supporting the countryside. Evidence of crop yield decline exist in the Lower River Benue Basin. This was a crop suitability mapping for rice, cassava, and yam to guide policy makers in strategic planning for sustainable agricultural development. Data was collected on various themes including climate, drainage, soil, satellite imagery, and maps. Remote Sensing was used to analyse satellite imagery to produce a digital elevation model, land use and land cover map, and normalised difference vegetation index map. GIS was used to produce thematic maps, weighted percentages of attribute data, and to produce crop suitability maps through weighted overlay. Soils in the study area require fertility enhancement with inorganic fertilisers for better crop yield. Soils in the Lower River Benue Basin are suitable for yam, cassava, and rice cultivation on maps of suitable areas. Some areas were found to be highly suitable for the cultivation of rice (34.22%), cassava (17.08%) and yam (16.08%). Some other areas were found to be moderately suitable for the cultivation of cassava (48.18%), rice (45.46%), and yam (48.85%). Areas with low suitability were 14.99% (rice), 33.68% (cassava), and 29.57% (yam). This study has demonstrated the importance of crop suitability mapping and recommends that farmers’ cooperative societies and policy makers utilise the information presented to improve decision making methods and policies for agricultural development.

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