A combined approach for sustainable use of mountainous agricultural land: land suitability evaluation and ecological economic model


  • Thi Huyen Ngoc Hoang Institute of Geography, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Manh Ha Nguyen (1)Institute of Geography, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam; (2)Graduate University of Science and Technology, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Quang Dung Bui Institute of Geography, VAST, Hanoi, Vietnam




land suitability, orange, tea, cinnamon, Vietnam


In the quest for poverty reduction, developing sustainable agriculture and stabilizing cultivation areas for specialty plants can be substantially improved by a new approach, which combines land suitability assessment and designs of ecological-economic models. The land suitability was assessed according to the FAO framework and the Vietnamese standard TCVN-8409:2012. The criteria were grouped in the parameters of climate, topography, and soil physicochemical properties. The seven land utilization types selected for analysis included orange, banana, tea, turmeric, cinnamon, chinaberry, and chukrasia in mountainous regions of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An Provinces, Vietnam. The results showed that the most suitable lands (S1) for cultivating these crops were 169.916 ha for orange, 201.166 ha for banana, 107.636 ha for tea, and 570.744 ha for turmeric, 233.987 ha for cinnamon, 633.306 ha for chinaberry, and 280.704 ha for chukrasia. Based on that foundation, the study designed three ecological models with economic efficiency and elaborated on six formations of the models. The analyses obtained from the research also allowed the proposal of six prioritized spaces for land use and environmental protection, which were illustrated on a 1:100,000 map of proposed agricultural land use. Therefore, this study provided a detailed and reliable approach for researchers and managers in agricultural land use planning. A proper procedure for the assessment of agricultural land in mountainous areas can be suggested from this research.


Download data is not yet available.


D’haeze D., Deckers J., Raes D., Phong T.A., Loi H.V., 2005. Environmental and socio-economic impacts of institutional reforms on the agricultural sector of Vietnam: Land suitability assessment for Robusta coffee in the Dak Gan region. Agriculture. Ecosystems & Environment, 105(1-2), 59-76.

Dang Trung Thuan, Truong Quang Hai, 1999. A model of ecological economy for sustainable rural development. Publisher of Vietnam National University of Agriculture, 242p.

Department of Climate and Geography (DCG), 2016. Data of annual average rainfall and temperature at meteorological stations in Western Thanh Hoa, Nghe An from 1984 to 2014. Records. Institute of Geography, Hanoi, 78p.

Ennaji W., Barakat A., El Baghdadi M., Oumenskou H., Aadraoui M., Karroum L.A., Hilali A., 2018. GIS-based multi-criteria land suitability analysis for sustainable agriculture in the northeast area of Tadla plain (Morocco). Journal of Earth System Science, 127(6), 79.

FAO, 1976. A framework for Land Evaluation. Soil Bulletin 32. FAO, Rome.

FAO, 1993. Guidelines for land-use planning. FAO Development series 1, 135.

Fruit And Vegetable Research Institute (FAVRI), 2011. Crop management procedures for orange cultivation in Doai Commune. http://www.favri.org.vn/index.php/vi/20-sa-n-pha-m-khoa-ha-c-ca-ng-ngha/ca-y-n-qua/quy-tra-nh-va-tia-n-ba-ka-thua-t/100-quy-trinh-qu-n-ly-cay-tr-ng-t-ng-h-p-tren-cay-cam-xa-doai. Accessed on 11th June 2017.

Government of Vietnam, 2017. Decision No. 900/QĐ-TTg of the prime minister on 20th June 2017 authorizing the list of communes with extreme difficulty, border proximity, and security status in governmental investment from Program 135 in 2017-2020.

Ha Nguyen, Tuan Nguyen, Ngoc Hoang, Dung Bui, Huong Vu, Tap Van, 2019. The application of LSE software: A new approach for land suitability evaluation in agriculture. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 173, 105440.

Hoang Luu Thu Thuy, 2015. Vulnerability assessment on the socio-economic system amidst climate change in Middle-Northern Vietnam. Program Science and Technology-Climate Change 11/15. Report on national-level projects, typed version. Institute of Geography, Hanoi.

Hoang Ngoc Van, Truong Thi Tu, Hoang Thi Thao, 2013. Land assessment serving the establishment of an ecological-economic model for households and farms in Vinh Linh District, Quang Tri Province. Journal of Science and Technology, Quang Binh University, 1(2), 58-65.

Hoang Thi Huyen Ngoc, Nguyen Dinh Ky, Luu The Anh, 2013. Application of an integrated ALES-GIS model in land suitability evaluation for tea cultivation in the Di Linh - Bao Loc area. Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, 35(3), 272-279.

Hoang Thi Huyen Ngoc, Nguyen Manh Ha, 2016. A study on the potentials of developing Macadamia in Dak Nong Province. Vietnam Journal of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, 1, 28-30.

Jamil M., Ahmed R., Sajjad H., 2018. Land suitability assessment for sugarcane cultivation in Bijnor district, India using geographic information system and fuzzy analytical hierarchy process. Geo. Journal, 83(3), 595-611.

Khoi D.D., Murayama Y., 2010. Delineation of suitable cropland areas using a GIS based multi-criteria evaluation approach in the Tam Dao National Park Region, Vietnam. Sustainability, 2, 2024-2043.

Le Canh Dinh, 2007. Integrated ALES and GIS for land evaluation in Cam My district, Dong Nai Province. Journal of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, 1&2, 206-213.

Maddahi Z., Jalalian A., Zarkesh M.K., Honarjo N., 2017. Land suitability analysis for rice cultivation using a GIS-based fuzzy multi-criteria decision making approach: central part of Amol district, Iran. Soil and Water Research, 12(1), 29-38.

Mendas A., Delali A., 2012. Integration of Multicriteria Decision Analysis in GIS to develop land suitability for agriculture: Application to durum wheat cultivation in the region of Malta in Algeria. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 83, 117-126.

National Institute of Agricultural Planning and Projection (NIAPP), 2004. Narrative report on the land map of Nghe An Province (attached with a 1:100,000 map), 80p.

National Institute of Agricultural Planning and Projection (NIAPP), 2005. Narrative report on the land map of Thanh Hoa Province (attached with a 1:100,000 map), 72p.

Nghe An Statistical Office (NASO), 2020. Annual statistics of Nghe An Province in 2020. Nghe An, 571p.

Ngoc H.T.H., Van T.T.T., Ha N.M., Binh N.Q., Tan M.T., 2019. Bioclimatic assessments for tea cultivation in Western Nghe An. Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, 41(1), 81-94.

Nguyen An Thinh, 2004. Analyzing the model structure of ecological-economic systems serving household economic development in mountainous regions. Journal of Human Geography, 2, 3-11.

Nguyen Dinh D., Lai Vinh C., 2021. 30-year changes of natural forests under human activities in the Indochina peninsula - case studies in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, 43(3), 285-300.

Nguyen Quoc Viet, Pham Anh Hung, Tran Thi Hong, Le Thi Kim Dung, 2019. Evaluating the effects of drought on agricultural production and proposing appropriate transformation for crop structure in Thach Ha District, Ha Tinh Province. Journal of Earth Science and Environment, Hanoi National University, 35(4), 22-34.

Nguyen Thi Thuy, 2019. A study on the geographic basis of land exploitation and usage serving sustainable planning in Da Lat city and areas within the vicinity, Lam Dong Province. Gepgraphy PhD thesis. Graduate University of Science and Technology, 280p.

Nguyen T.T., Ann V., Tran V.Y., Nele D., Tran T.C., Eric V.R., 2015. Design of a GIS and multi-criteria based land evaluation procedure for sustainable land use planning at regional level. Journal of Agriculture. Ecosystems, and Environment, 200, 1-11.

Olusegum A.J., Julius A., 2015. Land evaluation and management of an utilisol for fruit crops production in South Southern Nigeria. Journal of Global Biosciences, ISSN 2320-1355, 4(4), 1982-1989.

Pham Hoang Hai, Nguyen An Thinh, Nguyen Thi Thu Nhung, Hoang Bac, Tran Thi Mai Phuong, 2013. Ecological Economic Systems: Concepts and research experiences (a proposed application for the Central Highland region). Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, 35(4), 327-335.

Pham Quang Anh, Tran Anh Tuan, Nguyen Cao Huan, Tran Anh Tuan, 2013. A model of sustainable household farming economy in Quang Ninh District, Quang Binh Province. Journal of Science, Hanoi National University, 29(2), 56-66.

Quy C.H., 1995. Overview of highland development in Vietnam: General characteristics, socio-economic situation, and development challenges. The Challenges of Highland Development in Vietnam, 244p.

Sys C., Van Ranst E., Debaveye J., 1991. Land evaluation - Part I - Principles in land evaluation and crop production calculations. Agricultural Publications - No 7. General Administration for Development Cooperation, Brussels, Belgium, 280p.

Sys C., Van Ranst E., Debaveye J., Beernaert F., 1993. Land evaluation - Part III - Crop requirements. Agricultural Publications - No 7. General Administration for Development Cooperation, Brussels, Belgium, 199p.

Thanh Hoa Statistical Office (THSO), 2020. Annual statistics of Thanh Hoa Province in 2020. Thanh Hoa, 492p.

The World Bank, 2018. Climbing the ladder - Poverty reduction and shared prosperity in Vietnam. Update report 2018, 49p.

Tran Thi My Duyen, Nguyen Duy Liem, 2016. Land suitability assessment for perennial industrial crops in Kon Tum Province, National Convention of GIS application. Thua Thien Hue.

Truong Quang Hai, Nguyen An Thinh, Doan Thi Thu Ha, 2006. Establishing models of ecological-economic systems towards the sustaintable development of the buffer zone in protected areas. Journal of Science, Hanoi National University, 22(1), 39-48.

Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), 2017. Project: National forest inventory for the period 2013-2016, final report.

Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), 2010. TCVN-8409:2010 - Assessment procedures of agricultural production serving land usage planning of the district level. Hanoi, 63p.

Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), 2012. TCVN-8409:2012 - Assessment procedures of agricultural production. Hanoi, 50p.

Widiatmaka W., 2016. Integrated use of GIS, AHP, and remote sensing in land use planning for tropical high altitude vegetable crops. Journal of Applied Horticulture, 18(2), 87-99.

Zhang J., Su Y., Wu J., Liang H., 2015. GIS-based land suitability assessment for tobacco production using AHP and fuzzy set in Shandong province of China. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 114, 202-211.



— Updated on 2022-05-11

How to Cite

Hoang, T. H. N., Nguyen, M. H., & Bui, Q. D. (2022). A combined approach for sustainable use of mountainous agricultural land: land suitability evaluation and ecological economic model. Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences. https://doi.org/10.15625/2615-9783/17118