Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 93, Issue 2, pp 531–544 | Cite as

FAO guidelines and geospatial application for agroforestry suitability mapping: case study of Ranchi, Jharkhand state of India

  • Firoz Ahmad
  • Laxmi Goparaju
  • Abdul QayumEmail author


Agroforestry has potential for achieving agricultural sustainability having capacity of optimizing its productivity by mitigating climate change impacts. The aim was to find such land patches which can be potentially mapped as suitable and fertile for agroforestry projects and to find out land-use systems which can play a pivotal role in poverty eradication and climate change mitigation. The study aims for applying geo-spatial technology towards visualizing various land, soil, climate and topographical data to reveal trends and interrelationships and to find a nutrient availability and agroforestry suitability map. FAO based land suitability criteria was adopted to generate agroforestry suitability maps based upon scientifically evaluated weight factors at GIS platform by integrating layers of LULC, NDVI, wetness factor, elevation, slope percent, drainage, watershed, rainfall, organic carbon, pH and nutrient status. About 6% of land is under cultivation of pure agriculture whereas the study area has agroforestry suitability of 32.8% of total area. Block wise agroforestry suitability reveals highly suitable percentage for Rahe, Bundu and Namkum blocks as 79.1, 56.5 and 1.1%, respectively. Based on high suitability percentage Rahe block among all should be prioritized. Therefore, if there is scientific planning with adequate technical inputs, the area can achieve tremendous scope for tribal and rural people in generating their livelihood. Such finding may work as guiding tool for the policymakers towards allocation of fund for agroforestry projects. The advance GIS modeling software has the potential to map such area logically and meaningfully.


Agroforestry Digital elevation model (DEM) FAO GIS Land suitability Nutrient status Remote Sensing 



The authors are grateful to the USGS for free download of Landsat and DEM (ASTER) data which was used in the analysis.


This is to declare that no fund was received from any source.

Authors’ contributions

FA proposed the idea and analyzed the satellite and ancillary data in GIS domain, LG supervised the analysis and drafted the manuscript. AQ made critical evaluation regarding GIS analysis and provided continuous feedbacks and added dimensions of metrological factors. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History FoundationMirzapurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Environment and ForestGovt. of Arunachal PradeshItanagarIndia

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