Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 424731
Title Farmers' visions on soils: a case study among agroecological and conventional smallholders in Minas Gerair, Brazil
Author(s) Klingen, K.E.; Graaff, J. de; Vieira Botelho, M.I.; Kessler, A.
Source Journal of agricultural education and extension 18 (2012)2. - ISSN 1389-224X - p. 175 - 189.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1389224X.2012.655969
Department(s) Land Degradation and Development
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Abstract Purpose: Why do farmers not take better care of their soils? This article aims to give insight into how farmers look at soil quality management. Design/methodology/approach: It analyses diverse land management practices and visions on soils and soil quality of ten agroecological and 14 conventional smallholder farmers in Araponga, Minas Gerais, Brazil. As agroecological farming (that is, managing soils with minimum use of external inputs) requires more complex knowledge, it is assumed that agroecological farmers would be more knowledgeable on soils compared to conventional farmers. This case study tests the hypothesis that differences in land management practices between agroecological and conventional farmers can be explained by differences in their knowledge on soils. Findings: The hypothesis turned out to be faulty: agroecological and conventional farmers do not differ in what they know about soils, but how they use their knowledge in their farming strategy. Both groups of farmers have different but rational farming strategies. Practical implications: Designing policies and measures to make farming more environmentally friendly and more sustainable as two-way knowledge exchange between farmers and science (and not as one-way knowledge transfer from science to farmers), to benefit from vital and context-based farmers’ knowledge and to ensure successful implementation of more sustainable land management practices. Originality/value: By analysing farmers’ visions on soil quality management and farming strategies, this study shows that farmers’ knowledge is valuable for farmers, for scientific knowledge on soil quality management and for policies which are to be effective and adapted to the local environment.
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