Evaluation of land suitability methods with reference to neglected and underutilised crop species: A scoping review
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In agriculture, land use and land classification address questions such as “where”, “why” and “when” a particular crop is grown within a particular agroecology. To date, there are several land suitability analysis (LSA) methods, but there is no consensus on the best method for crop suitability analysis. We conducted a scoping review to evaluate methodological strategies for LSA. Secondary to this, we assessed which of these would be suitable for neglected and underutilised crop species (NUS). The review classified LSA methods reported in articles as traditional (26.6%) and modern (63.4%). Modern approaches, including multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods such as analytical hierarchy process (AHP) (14.9%) and fuzzy methods (12.9%); crop simulation models (9.9%) and machine learning related methods (25.7%) are gaining popularity over traditional methods. The MCDM methods, namely AHP and fuzzy, are commonly applied to LSA while crop models and machine learning related methods are gaining popularity. A total of 67 parameters from climatic, hydrology, soil, socio-economic and landscape properties are essential in LSA. Unavailability and the inclusion of categorical datasets from social sources is a challenge.