What is land evaluation?
It is the process of estimating the potential of land for alternative kinds of use. These include productive uses such as arable farming, livestock production and forestry, together with uses that provide services or other benefits, such as water catchments areas, recreation, tourism and wildlife conservation.
- the basic feature of land evaluation is the comparison of the requirements of land use with the resources offered by the land
- different kinds of use have differing requirements
- land evaluation need information from three sources: land, land use and economics
What are the types of land evaluation?
a) Qualitative evaluation – the suitability of land for alternative purposes is expressed in qualitative terms only, such as highly, moderately or marginally suitable, or not suitable for a specified use.
b) Quantitative physical evaluation – provides quantitative estimates of the production of other benefits to be expected, e.g. crop yields, beef production, rates of timber growth, recreational capacity
c) Economic evaluation – includes results given in terms of profit and loss,
e.g. specified enterprise on each kind of land. Specific money values are applied to data from quantitative physical evaluation, thereby obtaining the cost of inputs and value of production.
d) Current land suitability – refers to the value of land in its present condition, without major improvements. Evaluations of current suitability may assume minor improvements as part of the specification of the land utilization type.
e) Potential land suitability – refers to the value of land of some future date, if and when major land improvements have been carried out.
What are the purposes of land evaluation?
a) to predict the consequences of change
b) to introduce “change” e.g. introduction of new technique in kind of land use, land evaluation becomes necessary where change is contemplated.
What are the underlying principles of land evaluation?
a) Land evaluation involves comparison between the requirements of the land use and the qualities of the land.
b) Evaluation requires a comparison of benefits obtained with inputs needed
c) Evaluation is made in terms relevant to the conditions of the country or region concerned
d) Evaluation involves comparison between alternatives.