Remote Sensing and Gis Based Suitability Analysis for Livestock Production in Yabello District, Southern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa Universty


Land suitability analysis is the evaluation and grouping of specific areas of land in terms of their suitability or capability for a defined use. To get the maximum benefit out of the land, proper use of it for specific purposes is inevitable. Yabello district, which is situated in arid and semi‐arid lands, experiences low and erratic rainfall and high temperature that hinder any significant crop production. However, rapid population growth of the study area has resulted in increasing demand for arable land leading to reduced amount of land for natural grazing and forage production. Thus, the above conflicting and challenging issues could lead to fast depletion of land resources. Therefore, locating appropriate areas for livestock production using spatial models of Geographic Information systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing would be indispensable input to improve livestock productivity which enhances resilience of the environment. This study intended to analyze and map suitable land areas for livestock production in Yabello district using GIS and Remote Sensing techniques. Besides, it aimed at identifying land cover change in the study area for the last 23 years and to what extent and direction the change occur. The study made use of Landsat 1986 and 2003 Remote Sensing Satellite Image analysis to determine the extent and pattern of rangeland change, and Multi Criteria Evaluation in a GIS environment to come up with the final suitability map. The study used weighted overlay technique of MCE in a GIS platform to arrive at the final land suitability for livestock species. The current analysis showed that, 31.6%, 31.5%, 18.2% and 26.9% of the total study area is most suitable for the production of cattle, sheep, goats and camels, respectively. Furthermore, it should be noted that the larger portion of the study area (39.2% and 38.2%) fell under the suitability class called marginally suitable for cattle and sheep, respectively. This could be attributed to the encroachment of the rangelands by the woody plant species which needs due treatment (e.g. rangeland rehabilitation or bush clearing) so as to reverse the scenario. In addition, the study revealed that more than half of the study area is permanently inaccessible to the major eelaas. In the current study, it is evident that there is acute shortage of eelaas for watering livestock especially during the dry season. Keywords: Yabello district, Suitability analysis, GIS and Remote Sensing techniques, Multi‐criteria Evaluation, eelaas



Yabello district, Suitability analysis, GIS and Remote Sensing techniques, Multi‐criteria Evaluation, Eelaas