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Developing a geographical information system (GIS) for agricultural development in Belize, Central America

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The collection of agricultural census data in developing countries has often been hampered by lack of available capital and manpower. Serious deficiencies in the subsequent analysis of data have also been frequently apparent. Agricultural censuses in Belize, Central America, have been no exception, but the latest census (1983–1987) has produced a more complete enumeration than previously, as well as major improvements in the storage, manipulation and analysis of data. A Geographical Information System (GIS) has been developed, incorporating not only the census data but also other resource surveys, information on geology, soils and climate, and data from satellite remote sensing. In this paper the development and operation of this GIS are considered, with consideration given to the ways in which data analysis will be fed into future planning of agricultural development in Belize. There is discussion of the role of the GIS within the overall census project and the forward planning of agricultural development. The evolution of the agricultural census itself is also considered, and preliminary results from the first stages of analysis are exemplified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Geography
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1989

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