Sustainability of wheat production in Southwest Iran: A fuzzy-GIS based evaluation by ANFIS

Ehsan Houshyar*, Pete Smith, Mahmood Mahmoodi-Eshkaftaki, Hossein Azadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


The sustainability of agricultural production is one of the most important issues in today’s farming. A combination of analytical hierarchy process and fuzzy modeling was used with the combination of geographical information system (GIS) to develop a reference base that evaluates sustainability of winter wheat within the Fars province, Iran. Bio-physical (soil and climatic, agronomic, and machinery), and socio-economic factors (benefit-cost ratio, farmers’ knowledge and experience) were taken into consideration in the assessments. Results showed that amongst bio-physical, soil salinity and annual precipitation were the main obstacles of the sustainable production. The total land suitability scores represent “medium” to “very high” levels of sustainability. The highest sustainability score was obtained from the socio-economic category, followed by machinery and agronomic categories. Over-fertilization and high water consumption were found as the main reasons of low agronomic sustainability. Almost all the sustainability scores were higher in the central region of the study area while the overall sustainability was “medium” in more than half of the area. The extension trainings, prevention laws and government provided credit to buy necessary farm machines are recommended to reduce fertilizer, pesticide and water consumption. The results also showed that larger farm sizes, coupled with suitable farm machinery, particularly on smaller farms are expected to enhance machinery sustainability scores. The study also concluded that ANFIS is as a capable tool to predict sustainability indices obtained from GIS. The developed ANFIS models could estimate sustainability indices with minimum errors to be amended by GIS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1327682
Number of pages18
JournalCogent Food and Agriculture
Issue number1
Early online date16 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support provided by Jahrom University, Iran, is gratefully acknowledged. Acknowledgements

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.


  • AHP
  • fuzzy modeling
  • sustainable agriculture
  • wheat sustainability


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