Recently, South Sulawesi Provincial government
has launched the “gong” program with
the main objective to optimize all the resources (land, infrastructures, and
farmers) in agriculture areas for maize production in the province. This study
is aimed at identifying the suitability and availability of land areas for
maize development in Maros Regionthe regency having the most extensive agriculture
production in South Sulawesi province. This study employed land evaluation
method in geographic information system (GIS) based on the FAO Framework for Land Evaluation. Land availability was assessed
from overlaying information on land use (obtained from available land use map
and SPOT XS image interpretation) and suitability classes based on the FAO
Framework, as well as administration boundary map. The results indicated that
the S1 (highly suitable) class comprises a total area of approximately 34,468 ha, or about 24% from the total area.
The limiting factors for S2 (moderately suitable) and S3 (marginally suitable)
classes are slope and nutrient availability, but with the advanced management
efforts (moderately input) such sub-classes can actually promote S3 class to S2
level. It was also found that from a total of 144,085 ha of the study area,
potential maize development area (for extensification) covers approximately
24,716 ha (or 35.6%). Tanralili, Bantimurung, and Simbang sub-districts cover
the largest suitable area, where no significant limiting factors exist.
Surprisingly, potential development area for maize in Camba, Mallawa, and
Tompobulu sub-districts denotes minus values. This implies the facts that maize
cultivation is still practiced on the land that is ecologically not suitable,
where steep slope is the dominant limiting factor.
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