July 01, 2018

Food scarcity and continuous loss of agricultural lands are issues of global concern. The development of some selected areas in western desert has been considered as a priority in the current plans.  The major aim of this study is provided an opportunity for reclaiming about 600,000 feddan in west-west Menya.  To fulfill this objective Landsat 5 TM (1987) and Landsat 8 ETM (2017) were used in this study. Supervised classification technique was performed to track changes in land use/land cover of the study area.

Topographic map with scale of 1:50000 was also used in this study.  Four field trips have been conducted in 2016-2017 for collecting soil samples and information on existing land cover types. Climatic database of the study area, chemical and physical analysis of 140 soil profiles were used in this study. A landscape characteristic for each specific crop was carried out at the beginning of the evaluation process. Soil properties maps were produced using GIS. These maps were produced using interpolation technique from point data which resulted in continuous soil properties maps. The climatic, landscape and soil requirements used for the evaluation of different crops for five annual crops (Wheat, Barley, Safflower, Groundnuts and Watermelon, and three perennial crops: Olive, Guava and Date palm). The FAO/ITC-Ghent evaluation method is used for land evaluation suitability. Actual land suitability and Potential land suitability were applied in the study area.

The results of the change-detection analysis show an increase in the Built-up land area by2690 ha in 2017with annual rate of 89.67ha per year. The increment of agricultural land from 19241 ha in 1987 to 47108ha by 28262 ha due to the land reclamations process carried out by the government and the local farmers.  The low values of EC occupied 97 % while the moderate values occupied 3% of the total area. The area is sandy to sandy clay as. Slope classes of Soil of the studied area are distributed as; mod. Steeply sloping (15-30%), and moderately sloping (8-15%) are covering the eastern part of the. Gently sloping (3-8%), very gently sloping (1-3%), and level to nearly level (0-1%) are covering most of the area which are suggested for the agriculture area. The actual and the potential suitability for Barley cultivation range from moderately suitable to unsuitable and very suitable to unsuitable respectively. The actual suitability for Wheat cultivation ranges from moderately suitable to unsuitable   and in potential suitability ranges from very suitable to unsuitable. The actual suitability of the study area for Safflower cultivation ranges from marginally suitable to unsuitable.  The potential suitability of the study area for Safflower cultivation ranges from moderately suitable to unsuitable.


Division : Environmental Studies and Land use
Prof       : Prof.Dr. Adel Shalaby