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Suitable site selection for plantation of olive by using multi-criteria analysis along with GIS in ten mountainous district of Northwestern Nepal

Author Affiliations

  • 1Kathmandu Forestry College, Koteshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 2Kathmandu Forestry College, Koteshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 3University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
  • 4Bird Conservation Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal

Int. Res. J. Earth Sci., Volume 6, Issue (6), Pages 1-8, June,25 (2018)

Abstract

Olea cuspidata (wild olive) is naturally grown on mountainous region of Northwestern Nepal. This species has higher importance in respect to it's environmentally as well as economically benefits for humankind. It can highly flourish even in the poor and stony soils of the marginal mountain areas that indirectly helps in soil conservation. Presence of Wild olive in some mountainous district of Northwestern Nepal proves that there is potentiality of olive plantation in those regions. The research was carried out on 2014 to find potential or suitable sites for the plantation of this species in ten mountainous districts of Northwestern Nepal by using the MCA technique along with GIS analysis. For analysis of site suitability six different criteria were chosen among which three of them were climatic (Maximum temperature, Minimum temperature, and Precipitation), and three were terrain (Altitude, Aspect and Slope). The criteria map of each of the six parameters of the study area were collected and prepared in ArcGIS 10. The determination of criteria is one of the foremost steps of MCA process so it was determined based on observed data (empirical data) of the existing olive trees. The criteria was then reclassified into four classes (i.e. '1'as unsuitable; '2'as least suitable; '3'as moderately suitable; and '4'as highly suitable). After reclassification of criteria, weightage was assigned to each of the criteria according to their importance and contributions for the growth and development of olive tree. Weightage was assigned by the help of experts and calculated out by the AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process). Then, the reclassified criterion maps were added in weighted overlay table with the determined weightage percentage. After processing, the suitability map of the study area for the plantation of olive was generated. The final map revealed that about 1.02% (30165.75ha) were highly suitable, 15.52% (553131.18ha) were moderately suitable, 6.25% (232097.22ha) were least suitable and 77.20% (2567282.58ha) were unsuitable of total study area. Among 10 districts, Bajura, Kalikot, Mugu and Humla were potential for highly suitable zone for plantation of olive. About 70% of area in Achaam was found to be potential zone for moderately suitable site for olive plantation following with 45%, 29%, 26%, and 19% in Jajarkot, Kalikot, Rukum and Bajhang respectively. More than 90% of area seemed to be unsuitable for olive plantation in Dolpa, Humla, and Jumla district.

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