Multivariate analysis and GIS-based soil suitability diagnosis for sustainable intensive agriculture in Beni-Moussa irrigated subperimeter (Tadla plain, Morocco)

  • A. Barakat
  • W. Ennaji
  • A. El Jazouli
  • R. Amediaz
  • F. Touhami
Original Article


The aim of this study was to diagnose the agricultural land quality in Beni-Moussa irrigated subperimeter, Tadla plain (Morocco), and to evaluate that whether they are still suitable for sustainable intensive agriculture using GIS and physicochemical analyses. Eight quality indicators, namely soil depth, soil texture, pH, EC, CEC, OC, OM and slope, and were analyzed in 27 topsoil samples (0–20 cm) collected from the study zone at September 2009–2015. GIS approach was used to provide than indicator specific maps and to generate the land suitability for intensive agriculture. The results showed that about 1.69% (1324.38 ha) of studied area are classified in the class ‘excellent suitable’, 17.14% (13449.81 ha) in ‘good suitable’, 75.70% (59393.30 ha) in ‘medium suitable’ and 5.47% (4293.11 ha) in ‘poor suitable’ for sustainable intensive agriculture. These two latter land suitability classes needed some restrictions on agricultural practices and appropriate management to be of good sustainable productivity, without soil deterioration and negative effects on environment. The findings of this study are promising and can be used as a basis for the further scientific works, but they required new investigations and experts’ opinions to evaluate and increase their accuracy.


Beni-Moussa subperimeter Soil suitability Indicators GIS Intensive agriculture Sustainability 



Our particular gratitude goes to ORMVAT for their collaboration and for the data that they provided us. We also would like to thank Abdessamad Hilali, doctoral student, for his much technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Barakat
    • 1
  • W. Ennaji
    • 1
  • A. El Jazouli
    • 1
  • R. Amediaz
    • 2
  • F. Touhami
    • 3
  1. 1.Georessources and Environment Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences and TechniquesSultan Moulay Slimane UniversityBéni-MellalMorocco
  2. 2.ORMVATFkih Ben SalehMorocco
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Research in Sciences and Technologies, Polydisciplinary FacultySultan Moulay Slimane UniversityBéni-MellalMorocco

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