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Comparison of Cash Crop Suitability Assessment Using Parametric, AHP, and FAHP Methods

Rodcha, Rujee, K. Tripathi, Nitin, Prasad Shrestha, Rajendra
Land 2019 v.8 no.5
Eucalyptus, cash crops, crop models, crop yield, expert opinion, geographic information systems, land suitability, land use change, multi-criteria decision making, uncertainty, wood utilization, Thailand
Cash crops, which include eucalyptus, play an important role in Thailand in wood utilization. Consequently, cash crops have become a significant driving force in land use changes and low crop yield; thus, the development of an accurate cash crop suitability model is needed. The aim of this study is to evaluate the land suitability of cash crops, such as eucalyptus, which is based on Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) in Nakhon Ratchasima Province in Thailand. Parametric, classical Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), and fuzzy AHP (FAHP) approaches integrated with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are compared to accomplish this. Parametric approaches equally allocate importance to all factors. AHP assigns the distribution of important factors using expert opinions. FAHP accounts for the uncertainty in expert opinions, and the triangular (Tri) and trapezoidal (Tra) approaches are compared. The results demonstrated that Trapezoidal Fuzzy AHP (TraFAHP) could classify and map cash crop suitability with 90.16% accuracy, which is a higher overall accuracy than the other approaches that are based on reference map validation. Therefore, we recommend the TraFAHP method for accurately identifying cash crop suitability.