Land cover interpretations schemes were devised that allow a quantification of each 5 arc-minute. grid-cell into seven main land use/land cover shares. These shares are: cultivated land, subdivided into (i) rain-fed and (ii) irrigated land, (iii) forest, (iv) pasture and other vegetation, (v) barren and very sparsely vegetated land, (vi) water, and (vii) urban land and land required for housing and infrastructure.An iterative calculation procedure has been implemented to estimate land cover class weights, consistent with aggregate FAO land statistics and spatial land cover patterns obtained from remotely sensed data, allowing the quantification of major land use/land cover shares in individual 5’ by 5’ latitude/longitude grid cells. The class weights define for each land cover class the contents in terms of respectively cultivated land and forest. Starting values of class weights used in the iterative procedure were obtained by cross-country regression of statistical data of cultivated and forest land against aggregated national land cover class distributions obtained from GIS.