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University of Johannesburg (2019)

Land suitability analysis for maize and sorghum in Vhembe District, South Africa

Mufungizi, Andisa Andy

Titre : Land suitability analysis for maize and sorghum in Vhembe District, South Africa

Auteur : Mufungizi, Andisa Andy

Université de soutenance : University of Johannesburg


The impacts of climate change are being felt in various systems that directly rely on the state of the natural ecological system. This includes food systems upon which cities depend for their day-to-day functioning. Sustainable development goals (SDGs) 1 and 2 stand respectively for “No poverty” and “Zero hunger” ; and achieving these goals cannot be separated from promoting sustainable agriculture and ensuring livelihoods, especially for the poor. For this reason, seeing that the food system is underscored by agriculture that in turn mainly depends on land, land suitability analysis has emerged and is being widely used as a tool to decide between competing alternatives for which land can be used. This research has sought to determine the suitability of land for the cultivation of Maize and Sorghum in Vhembe District, South Africa. The study used six criteria, namely : Soil pH, Soil Structure, Rainfall, Maximum Temperature, Minimum Temperature and Elevation to conduct the suitability analysis. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) process method was used to weigh these criteria and subsequently, the Weighted Linear Combination method was used to calculate the various levels of land suitability according to FAO suitability index. The results revealed that only a limited portion of the whole district is highly suitable for the cultivation of Maize (15.01%) and the same was true for the cultivation of Sorghum (19.39%). It was further found that the portion of land that is highly suitable for Maize is not highly suitable for Sorghum and vice versa. A further interpretation of the results suggested that planners should consider the integration of urban agriculture in their spatial vision as expressed in terms of Spatial Development Frameworks (SDFs). It was further determined that the limited availability of suitable land for the cultivation of maize and sorghum in the Vhembe district should compel spatial and land use planners to consider land suitability analysis for other crops as an integral component of the planning process, and that local residents should be encouraged to develop new livelihoods other than subsistence farming as climate is expected to continue to change, thereby reducing the suitability of land for agriculture


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Page publiée le 1er janvier 2021