To determine specific crop suitability ratings for Busia area, decision matrices developed by Rachilo and Michieka (1991) were used to generate crop suitability classes for each soil map unit. Land suitability is the fitness of a given tract of land for a defined use. Differences in the degree of the suitability were determined by relationship, actual or anticipated, between benefits and required inputs associated with the use of the tract land in question (FAO, 1976). The suitability of the individual tracts of land for rainfed crops growing and other activities is expressed by the following classes (see appendix 3 in Rachilo and Michieka, 1991). These suitability classes are broadly grouped into the following groups;
S1: Highly Suitable: Land suitable for sustained high yields with minimum costs of developed associated with the land.
S2: Moderately Suitable: Land of moderate productivity, or requiring moderate costs for development and management because of slight to moderate limitations in land characteristics.
S3: Marginally Suitable: Land of restricted productivity of land requiring relatively high costs for development and management because of moderate to severe limitations in land characteristics.
NS: Unsuitable: Land which has qualities that appear to preclude sustained use of crop growing or livestock keeping.
The suitability class defining criteria (requirements) for various crops/ land use types are contained within each crop type folder.
FAO, 1976. A framework for land evaluation. FAO Soils Bulletin 52, F.A.O. Rome, 79p. [Outlines the basic principles of the FAO approach land evaluation and land use planning].
Rachilo, J.R., & Michieka, D.O. (1991). Reconnaissance Soil Survey of the Busia Area (quarter degree sheet No. 101). Kenya Soil Survey, pp. 269.
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