The role of indigenous soil knowledge in agricultural development

R. R. Pawluk, J. A. Sandor, J. A. Tabor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Concern is expressed at the apparent ineffectiveness of many of the agricultural development projects in which the majority of farmers are rural smallholders. In some cases it is suggested that the transfer of technology and information has often had negative consequences rather than the anticipated benefits. The authors suggest that too little attention is often paid to indigenous knowledge of soils and other environmental conditions. The paper highlights the interesting information available on indigenous soil knowledge, or ethnopedology, in a number of recent studies, including projects in the highland region of Peru, the Amazon Basin, Burkina Faso., Mali, Mexico and the southwestern part of the US. The paper stresses that to ignore ethnopedological information is a potentially serious omission in developing successful and appropriate agricultural development schemes. -S.Nortcliff

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Soil & Water Conservation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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