Classifying land based on its suitability for agriculture is crucial for agricultural development and future planning for food production. In this context, a land suitability assessment for rainfed maize varieties was conducted in Sakure and Nginda Payams of Nzara and Yambio counties, covering an area of 47,500 ha. The purpose of this assessment was to create a semi-detailed land suitability map (scale 1:100,000) using georeferenced soil survey data and spatial environmental data to assist agricultural development planners and decision-makers. The analytical hierarchy process was employed in ArcGIS to generate the land suitability map using the co-kriging method. The results indicated that 56% of the land was highly suitable, while 44% was moderately suitable for maize production. The most critical limiting factors for maize production included poor road conditions, distance from the main road, very low CEC (cation exchange capacity), and a decline in soil fertility, which has led to the practice of shifting cultivation. Based on these findings, it is recommended to conduct a detailed land suitability assessment at a scale of 1:25,000. Additionally, a study on farming systems should be carried out since mixed cropping is practiced in the area.
Key words: Land suitability map, socio-economic, ArcGIS, analytical hierarchy process.
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