Friday, 14 July 2006 - 4:40 PM

Integrating Indegenous Knowledge and Conventional Soil Science Approacges to Detailed Soil Survey in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

B.A. Raji1, W.B Malgwi2, V.O. Chude3, and F. Berding3. (1) Dept of Soil science, Ahmadu Bello Univ, Zaria, Nigeria, (2) Ahmadu Bello Univ, Zaria, Nigeria, (3) FAO Nigerian Office, Abuja, Nigeria

Farmers' knowledge about their soils and their management constitutes a complex wisdom system which if integrated with modern soil science could provide the necessary synergy for sustainable agricultural development. In a detailed soil survey carried out in Kaduna State, Nigeria, local farmers were incorporated into the survey teams along with scientists. Farmers were asked at each auger point to first describe and classify the soils after which conventional soil survey procedures were followed. The result indicates that farmers have a fair knowledge of their soils. They also use fewer categories in their non-taxonomic classification. Two levels of classification could be identified with topography or position in the landscape and inherent fertility as the first classifiers while soil colour and texture is the second. Based on their classification three soil units were each identified at the two sites while the scientists had three and four units at the two sites. Overall, the indigenous classification used morphological and physical properties of the surface horizon as their main diagnostic attributes. In the Jagindi site, farmers' were able to classify the soil units into Tudu Jar-Kasa and Tudu Yunbu for the soil units JD1 and JD2 respectively while the seasonally flooded unit; JD3 was classified as Fadama, an indigenous soil name that have found acceptance in scientific literature. Correlation would be easier with the WRB system which also place emphasis on morphological properties observable in the field as shown by the chromic subgroup in WRB and Jar (red) in the indigenous classification of soil unit JD1. The indigenous classification scheme in the study areas, though simple but was adequate in most cases to group soils into classes that could be managed using similar management practices re-emphasizing the use-oriented nature of indigenous classification. It is also obvious that the indigenous classification could not differentiate the soils on the bases of subtle differences especially in the subsoil which could affect internal drainage unless such are translated onto the soil surface. For sustainable development in the study areas and to improve communication between the scientist and the farmers, it is suggested that local soil name be integrated into the soil map legend.

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