A. O. OLANIYI1, A. J. AJIBOYE1, A. M. ABDULLAH2, M. F. RAMLI3 and A. M. SOOD4
1,2,3 University Putra Malaysia, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Studies, 43400 Serdang, Darul Eshan, Selangor, Malaysia
4 University Putra Malaysia, Department of Forest Production, Faculty of Forestry, 43400 Serdang, Darul Eshan, Selangor, Malaysia
OLANIYI, A. O., A. J. AJIBOYE, A. M. ABDULLAH, M. F. RAMLI and A. M. SOOD, 2015. Agricultural land use suitability assessment in Malaysia. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 21: 560–572
Land suitability assessment (LSA) is a valuable tool for land use planning in major countries of the world as well as in Malaysia. However, previous LSA studies have been conducted with the use of biophysical and ecological datasets to the neglect of equally important socio–economic variables. Therefore, this research is conducted at the sub national level to estimate suitable agricultural land for major economic crops in Malaysia by application of socio-economic variables in conjunction with widely employed biophysical and ecological variables. The objective of this study is to provide an up–to date, GIS based agricultural land suitability assessment (ALSA) for determining suitable agricultural land for major economic crops in Malaysia. Biophysical, ecological and socio-economic factors assumed to influence agricultural land use were assembled and the weights of their respective contributions to land suitability for agricultural uses were assessed using analytic hierarchical process. The result of this study found Kuala Langat and Sabak Bernam districts of Selangor as the most suitable areas for cultivating paddy, oil palm and coconut whereas the Klang and Petaling are more suitable for growing rubber. Since Kuala Langat and Sabak Bernam are generally suitable for growing wider variety of crops, the study foresaw potential environmental degradation of these locations from agricultural intensification. While this study could also be useful in assessing the potential agricultural yields and potential environmental degradation in the study area, it could also helps to estimate the potential conversion of agricultural land to non–agricultural uses.