The project “Development of Land Resources Information Management System (LRIMS) for Afghanistan” is a part of the collaboration for Strengthening Afghanistan Institutions capacity for monitoring and analyzing of agriculture production systems and development of Land Resources Information Management System (LRIMS) and National Agro-Ecological Zoning (NAEZ) project.

Land Resources

The quality and availability of land and water resources, together with important socio-economic and institutional factors, is essential for food supply. Crop cultivation potential describes the agronomically possible upper limit for the production of individual crops under given agro-climatic, soil and terrain conditions for a specific level of agricultural inputs and management conditions. GAEZ v3.0 offers a standardized framework for the characterization of climate, soil and terrain conditions relevant to agricultural production, which can be applied at global to sub-national levels.

Agro-Climatic Resources

For the global agro-ecological zones assessment GAEZ v3.0, time series data are used from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. Seven climatic variables are required for GAEZ climate analysis: mean 24-hour temperature, diurnal temperature range, sunshine fraction, wind speed, relative humidity, wet day frequency and precipitation. The precipitation data used was obtained from the German Weather Service (Global Precipitation Climatology Centre – GPCC) and the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt (Institute for Atmosphere and Environment).

Suitability & Potential Yield

For the assessment of rain-fed land productivity a water-balance model is used to determine the beginning and duration of the period when sufficient water is available to sustain crop growth. Soil moisture conditions together with other climate characteristics (radiation and temperature) are used in a robust crop growth model to calculate potential biomass production and yield. For the assessment of irrigated land productivity each crop growth cycle length is matched with the period with temperatures conducive for crop growth. The calculated potential agro-climatic yields are subsequently combined with a number of reduction factors directly or indirectly related to climate (e.g., pest and diseases), and with soil and terrain conditions.