DETERMINING SUITABLE AREAS FOR MORE EFFICIENT HAZELNUT PRODUCTION
Keywords: Hazelnut, MCDM, Suitable Area
Abstract. Turkey is the largest hazelnut producer and exporter in the world with approximately 75% worldwide production and 70-75% of world exports, yet according to FAO; annual yield gain rate is significantly lower than Italy and USA. While Turkey produces 0.94 ton/hectare hazelnut, average yield rates for USA, Italy and Spain are 2.6 ton/hectare, 1.68 ton/hectare and 1 ton/hectare, respectively. Hazelnut production in Turkey is primarily concentrated along Black Sea coast centered Giresun and Trabzon provinces. The purpose of this study is to propose a methodology to further improve the efficiency in hazelnut production by determining the most significant geographical criteria and using them for spatial queries and analysis in ArcGIS environment to detect most fertile hazelnut plantation areas. For the study, the Surmene district of Trabzon is selected for pilot region. A thematic map of hazelnut plantation areas created from the classification of WorldView-2 image of the district was used as the base map. Furthermore, a database is created with layers and cost maps using multicriteria decision methods. Detected most suitable areas for hazelnut production area are compared with the present situation. Proposed methodology and the database can be used by officials for better management of hazelnut production in Turkey, therefore in the world.