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International Journal of Soil Science
  Year: 2008 | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Page No.: 83-91
DOI: 10.3923/ijss.2008.83.91
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Exploring Folk Knowledge of Soil

I.P. Handayani and P. Prawito

Understanding folk knowledge of soil offers broader insight to help design more appropriate participatory agricultural research programs and facilitate better communication with farmers. To address this issue, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 90 farmers (age > 20 years) from three villages in Bengkulu Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. The objective of this study was to explore the folk knowledge toward soil classification, soil fertility, soil degradation and soil management. Farmers used 11 criteria to classify the soils. They described nine soil classes based on color and texture. Common colors for fertile soils are black, brown and mixed brown-black, but infertile soils are red and red-yellow. To better manage the soils, farmers recognized the importance of manures, crop residues and compost as soil amendments and legumes in cropping systems. Two-year fallow was commonly applied by farmers to restore soil fertility after five years of cultivation. This study suggests that there is a need to maximize the benefits of local knowledge of soil by combining it with scientific knowledge to enhance rural development projects, help precision farming and better manage natural resources.
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How to cite this article:

I.P. Handayani and P. Prawito, 2008. Exploring Folk Knowledge of Soil. International Journal of Soil Science, 3: 83-91.

DOI: 10.3923/ijss.2008.83.91






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