Maps of land-use classes and soil series were analysed to identify areas having specific priorities with respect to agricultural land-use analysis. Remote sensing data supported by field investigations was used to generate land-use and soil maps. Present relationships between soils and associated land cover/use are analysed and patterns in these relationships are identified using GIS techniques. Relationships observed on the basis of a priori knowledge of the area and the available statistics are compared and these relationships in the field and through interviews with farmers are correlated. This allows three land-use analysis objectives to be formulated: crop management improvement; crop selection; and conservation. The results can be used to focus the efforts of planning and extension services in the area. The method was tested using a participatory rural appraisal in eighteen villages in which the areas for the three land-use analysis objectives were identified. The findings are that the areas identified for crop management improvement require knowledge about management practices for a specific crop to optimize yield and water use. Most areas identified for crop selection are occupied by smallholder subsistence farmers with insufficient water for irrigation, and a lack of contact with the extension service. In these areas, identifying suitable crops to minimize risk and allow subsistence for the resource-poor farmers may be the priority. In areas identified for conservation the question to be addressed is whether to grow a crop at all, or to encourage alternative activities.
Nidumolu, U. B., de Bie, C. A. J. M., van Keulen, H., & Skidmore, A. K. (2004). Enhancement of area-specific land-use objectives for land development. Land Degradation and Development, 15(5), 513-525. https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.636