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Assessment of Potential Land Suitability for Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) in Sri Lanka Using a GIS-Based Multi-Criteria Approach

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School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
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Department of Export Agriculture, Faculty of Animal Science and Export Agriculture, Uva Wellassa University, Passara Road, Badulla 90000, Sri Lanka
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Department of oceanography and marine geology, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology, University of Ruhuna, Matara 81000, Sri Lanka
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(7), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9070148
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
The potential land suitability assessment for tea is a crucial step in determining the environmental limits of sustainable tea production. The aim of this study was to assess land suitability to determine suitable agricultural land for tea crops in Sri Lanka. Climatic, topographical and soil factors assumed to influence land use were assembled and the weights of their respective contributions to land suitability for tea were assessed using the Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) and the Decision-Making Trail and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) model. Subsequently, all the factors were integrated to generate the potential land suitability map. The results showed that the largest part of the land in Sri Lanka was occupied by low suitability class (42.1%) and 28.5% registered an unsuitable land cover. Furthermore, 12.4% was moderately suitable, 13.9% was highly suitable and 2.5% was very highly suitable for tea cultivation. The highest proportion of “very highly suitable” areas were recorded in the Nuwara Eliya District, which accounted for 29.50% of the highest category. The model validation results showed that 92.46% of the combined “highly suitable” and “very highly suitable” modelled classes are actual current tea-growing areas, showing the overall robustness of this model and the weightings applied. This result is significant in that it provides effective approaches to enhance land-use efficiency and better management of tea production. View Full-Text
Keywords: AHP; DEMATEL; climate; land suitability; soil; tea; topography AHP; DEMATEL; climate; land suitability; soil; tea; topography
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MDPI and ACS Style

Layomi Jayasinghe, S.; Kumar, L.; Sandamali, J. Assessment of Potential Land Suitability for Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) in Sri Lanka Using a GIS-Based Multi-Criteria Approach. Agriculture 2019, 9, 148.

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