Developing a Land Suitability Model for Cereals in the Algerian Sahara Using GIS and Hierarchical Multicriteria Analysis

Koull Naima, Samia Helimi, Adil Mihoub, Sakher Mokhtari, Mohamed Elhafed Kherraze, Hani Amir Aouissi


Determining land suitability is a preliminary procedure to define and determine land fitness for a given type of production. A suitability analysis performed with inadequate methods will not guarantee a successful or significant process. The current attempt to consider new strategies and techniques for the Algerian agricultural systems comes as a part of a process of reflection that aims to understand the land resource planning process for agriculture, specifically in Ouargla, Algeria. The aim of the study is also to present a process that is based on the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and hierarchical multicriteria analysis; this process has demonstrated its relevance to the understanding of complex spatial problems. The suggested approach provides an information reference for the construction of soil suitability maps for cereals in N’Goussa at Ouargla. Farming factors, such as the slope, soil characteristics, electrical and road networks, and land occupation, were integrated into the soil suitability map for cereals by using the geographic information system. Multiplying the weighted coefficients linked to these factors allows for a global land suitability map. The obtained results allow for the prioritization of the sites into four classes: high suitability, moderate suitability, low suitability and unsuitability. In fact, 60.06% of the total area is moderately suitable for cereals.


Algeria, arid area, cereal, Geographic Information Systems, GIS, hierarchical multicriteria analysis, land suitability

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