DELINEATION OF SUITABLE CROPLAND AREAS USING A GIS BASED MULTI-CRITERIA EVALUATION APPROACH IN THE CENTRAL AGRICULTURAL REGION OF MONGOLIA
The central agricultural region, a typically main agricultural zone of Mongolia. The area has undergone rapid agricultural land-use changes including land reclamation and cropland abandonment in the last decades due to growing population and food demand, climatic variability, and land-use policy. The utilization of the land is often unmatched with the inherent suitability of the land. Identification of the spatial distribution of suitable areas for cropland is essential for sustainable land-use recommendation. The objective of this study to delineate the areas suitable for cropland in the central agricultural region using a GIS-based multi-criteria evaluation of biophysical factors and multi-sensor data. We used 47 metrological station data of 10 years including temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation with topographic, soil property, landscape, and natural region map. The results indicate a suitable location and extent of crop farming areas at different suitability levels. The results can be used to identify priority areas for crop farming and sustainable land-use management.