Land Suitability


National Assessment

The minimum requirements selection analysis at national level was based on 6 criteria. For each of these criteria, thresholds or specific classes were defined to produce maps of “suitable” and “unsuitable” areas, as illustrated in the following table and images:

1. Altitude – suitable range: 400 – 1,700 meters a.s.l (considering the latitude);


Suitable areas for altitude: > 400 m, < 1,700 m a.s.l. - Click to enlarge.


2. Slope – suitable range: < 20;


Suitable areas for slopes: < 20 - Click to enlarge.


3. Aspect – suitable range: all but north, north-east, north-west orientation where slope > 5;


Suitable areas for aspects: all but north, north-east, north-west - Click to enlarge.


4. Rainfall – suitable range: > 250 mm and < 1,000 mm;


Suitable areas for rainfall: > 250 mm and < 1,000 mm - Click to enlarge.


5. Climate – suitable class: Warm, semi arid, winter rain;


Suitable areas for climate: Warm, semi arid, winter rain - Click to enlarge.


6. Bareness index – suitable range: < 95% bare soil.


Suitable areas for bareness index: < 95% - Click to enlarge.



The selected areas for all criteria were then combined in one final map where identified areas were matching all the required conditions.

The final results were herewith disclosed through two kinds of maps. A first group of maps regarding hectarage in suitable areas disclosed in aggregation by district, followed by a second group of maps, representing data with a higher degree of accuracy (resolution 90 meters).


Selected areas per district - Click to enlarge.


Suitable areas: detailed overview 1 - Click to enlarge. Suitable areas: detailed overview 2 - Click to enlarge.

Suitable areas: detailed overview 3 - Click to enlarge. Suitable areas: detailed overview 4 - Click to enlarge.



The final elaboration of the data suggests that an area as large as 880,000 hectares may be suitable for olive cultivation in the Country. This amount of hectares could be slightly reduced in future elaboration, by considering more detailed climate and soil information.

The main potential areas are focused in some districts of NWFP (including FATA) and Balochistan. A further close up of the distribution of the suitable areas reveals that in NWFP the majority of the areas are located in Charsadda, Bajaur Agency, Bannu, Buner, Lower Dir, Malakand PA, Mardan, Swabi, Swat, Kurram Agency, North and South Waziristan, T.A adj Tank, and Khyber Agency districts. A few smaller areas are also present in Batagram, Shangla and Kohistan districts. Usually the distribution of suitable environment in these districts appears to be fractioned and sparse. In Belochistan the districts with major potentiality for olives are Barkhan, Loralai, Killa Saifullah, Musakhel and Kohlu.

As a matter of fact, even tiny potential areas were found during the initial elaboration of the maps (e.g. outskirts of Gilgit). These areas were not considered in the final maps because of their exiguous dimensions as well as because (especially when located in narrow alpine valleys) already devoted to more profitable crops than olives.

However, before proceeding with any major investments within the selected areas, specific field missions and more detailed and accurate information, especially concerning meteorological historical data and soil characteristics, should be gathered.

In the map concerning the positioning of the sites supported by PODB and the distribution of wild olives was possible to notice that, regrettably, that the majority of the sites selected by PODB were falling into areas not identified as the best for the crop.

A specific map was produced where two key layers: wild olive distribution and suitable areas for olive cultivation were overlapped. The output is clearly defining the areas where the conversion of wild olives would be considered a viable option for the local farming communities.



Copyright 2009 – All Right Resereved


Suitability Analysis
Olive Trees: Environmental Requirements
  Evaluation Model
  Software Platform
National Assessment
Mardan District Assessment

in the site