An outstanding GIS based project work and presentation by students

3An outstanding GIS based project work and presentation by students

On behalf of the faculty of social science and the Humanities, I am delighted  to announce you, all instructors, students and administration staff of Debre Tabor University that we have attended an outstanding presentation, scientific project work and potato suitability map entitled GIS based multi criteria analysis for potatoes crop suitable site selection in the case of Amhara region, Ethiopia’. Prepared by3rd year prospected graduate students of the department of Geography and Environmental Studies.

It was on January 2/2016, with the presence of all; the faculty dean, department head, teachers and graduate students, after a brief and short announcement and opening speech by the course facilitator, instructor Mr. MulualemAsfaw (MSc in GIS & Remote Sensing) they start their presentation in the mini hall, next to student’s clinic. This outstanding scientific project work and presentation was entirely performed by all devoted graduate students and superbly presented and defended by three students namely Workalem Maru, Alemitu Melkam and Demessew Tsegaye. So far, this is the first GIS based advanced scientific project work and presentation as well as defense entirely performed by prospected graduate students in our faculty in particular and the university in general.

At the beginning, this project was proposed in the form of group assignment for the fulfillment of one of their major courses, application of GIS, based on the theoretical and practical lessons they have conferred in the class, students were given a group assignment to prepare a scientific project work and a suitability map in their respective groups.

This paper has composed of all formal scientific project formats including introduction, where they clearly show the importance of the growing interest and concerns of today’s societies for supplying an ever-growing population with food which is directly or indirectly related to agricultural products. In this regard, scientists seek to find the most desirable arable land.

In the statement of the problem part, their project work clearly states about the conditions and performance of potato crop in Amhara region and how those factors such as elevation, slope, soil, rainfall, temperature variations and poor crop management has contributed to the low productivity of potato in the region.

The general objective of this scientific project is to investigate and allocate the suitable site for potatoes production in Amhara region in relation to different parameters with the help of GIS based multi criteria analysis. While the specific objectives of their project is to:

  • Identify and allocate arable land of the region for potatoes cultivations.
  • Compare the best suitability site of potatoes with the unsuitable site in the study area.
  • Generate suitability site map of potato crop by integrating suitability analysis with GIS technologies.

GIS offer a convenient and powerful platform to integrate spatially complex and different land attributes for performing land suitability analysis and allocations. This study is intended to analyze and map suitable land areas for potatoes agricultural yield in Amhara region by using GIS techniques.

In the significance part of this project, they clearly presented that their project could serve as a springboard for comprehensive study on GIS based suitability analysis for other investigators in the area and related topics.

Other than extracting and clipping Amhara region using their advanced GIS skills, they also employee the following materials and software’s for this study:

  • Arc GIS10.3 to process, analysis, combine the parameters and mapping potential suitable site of potatoes arable land.
  • MS excel to perform Regression analysis and Linear equation.
  • MS word 2010 for editing purpose.
  • Various software’s, computer, printer and other devises.

For data processing and analysis, they utilize DEM, rainfall, slope, soil and temperature data and they operate ArcGIS 10.3, ERDAS Imagine 2014 and MS excel as well as applying the basic image preprocessing techniques, which is starting from defining geo-database, projection, and resampling cell size, interpolation, regression, re-classification, overlay analysis and other multiple applications.

While we attend the discussion part, they clearly present their results and they show us how they will select and prepare suitable site for potential potato arable land which will be achieved by multiple application techniques and by analyzing and considering the important factors and variables for detecting potential potato growing areas.

After analyzing all those factors, suitability area of potato site selection has identified and analyzed, by using operations such as raster calculate (map algebra) and weight determination of elevation, slope, soil, mean annual rainfall, and other factors, the final location and suitable site selection of potato map of Amhara region has generated.

According to the final potato suitable site selection map shown above, they clearly identify and present us unsuitable area in the North Western parts of the study area. In addition to this, according to the final suitability map and their analysis, the Red color spectrum represents an inappropriate and undesirable region, and the Green color spectrum indicates more suitable and arable land for potato cultivation. In addition to this, according to the final results of multiple scientific regression and correlation, about 16312.3 Km2 of the study area, which accounts for 10.08% of the total study area, are suitable arable land for potato cultivation, while the remaining 145516.1 km2of the province, which accounts for 89.92% of the total study area are unsuitable land for potato cultivation.

Coming to their conclusions, based on the results of suitable site selection of potato in Amhara region, they concluded that elevation, slope, soil, mean annual rainfall, extreme mean monthly minimum temperature and extreme mean monthly maximum temperature are the main factor for potato cultivation. By taking into account of all these factors, cultivation of potato will achieve the highest yield of productivity in the region which in turn will maximize our effort to attain our food self-sufficiency in the nation at large.

According to their final result, maps prepared through multiple scientific applications and advanced GIS techniques will surly help experts and practitioners with the strategic agricultural planning, and programming in the short and long term.

To put things in a nut shell, it was really an inspiring performance and success by students, their instructor and with the altruistic support and help of the GIS lab assistant Abiye Getnet, they can achieve such a great result and I, as the dean, am delighted to express my appreciation to their effort, final result and the successful achievement of GIS based scientific project work and an exceptional potato suitability map.

You can access or download the full documentation of the project work right here!

With best regards,

Mr. Behailu Atnafu

Dean, Faculty of Social Science and the Humanities