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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Indigenous soil classification systems in northern Zambia
Authors:Kerven, CarolISNI
Dolva, Hilde
Renna, RagnhildISNI
Book title:The cultural dimension of development: indigenous knowledge systems
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:land use
agricultural land
Abstract:It was recently noted in Zambia's Northern Province that considerable soils field research had been undertaken and was still being undertaken by technical scientists attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. At the same time, it was noted that members of the peasant farming communities had a breadth of knowledge and opinions about the local soils they used for farming. A curious situation has occurred in which two quite distinct and unrelated systems for describing soils coexist but are unknown to each other. Moreover, neither of the two systems is being used by agents for agricultural development. It was therefore proposed to carry out a joint study involving farmers, social scientists, soil scientists and agriculturalists to collect information on indigenous terms, descriptions and uses of local soils, and to compare this information to that available from technical soils research in Zambia. This article reports on the first two phases of this research programme. The first phase aimed at eliciting local knowledge about soils and micro land systems exploited by farmers. The second phase consisted of detailed data collection at five sites representing different soil and land regions in the Northern Province. Technical analysis of indigenously named soils was compared with the farmers' own evaluation of these soils.