GIS-based Land Suitability Evaluation for Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Production using Agro-climatic Indices in the Semi-arid Areas of Tigray

The Open Agriculture Journal 29 December 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118743315253308230921060221



Climate is the most important factor in determining crop production systems in Ethiopia. However, land suitability evaluation using climate variables for specific crops has been barely conducted to demonstrate the suitability of a location for the growth and yield of the crop. This study was, therefore, conducted to analyze land suitability evaluation for sesame production using agro-climatic variables by employing a multi-criteria approach.

Materials and Methods:

Temperature (maximum, minimum, and average temperature), annual rainfall, elevation, slope, growing degree days (GDD), and length of growing period were classified, and re-classified. Finally, a suitability map overlay was produced using ArcMap version 10.3.1

Results and Discussion:

The results indicated that areas with higher elevations, like Adi Remets being 1860 meters above sea level, were classified as moderately suitable, whereas the majority of the study area was suitable for sesame production. After re-classifying the climate variables, elevation, and GDD, a suitability map overlay was produced for sesame production. The overall suitability map showed that areas around Humera, Dansha, Sheraro, Badime, Adigoshu, and some parts of Dedebit, Adiremets, and Maygaba were found from highly suitable to suitable, with 1,024,543.2 and 664,545.5 hectares of land, respectively. There has been no evidence with regards to land suitability classification for sesame production in the study area; hence, the results obtained in this study demonstrated the majority of the cultivated areas in the western and northwestern zones of Tigray to be high to moderately suitable for sesame production.


Based on the results, a land suitability map representing a homogenous environment for improved sesame production was produced using a multi-criteria approach in the northwestern and western zones of Tigray. While the results obtained in this study might be helpful for agricultural experts, researchers, decision-makers, and farmers for crop intensification and expansion strategies, they can explicitly help in decisions in the marketing processes with respect to the crop’s value chain and provide a homogenous environment in the study area.

Keywords: Agro-climate, Climate data, ArcMap, Land suitability, Temperature, Sesame.
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