Saturday, 15 July 2006

Local Knowledge and Pedology: Metodological Proposal of Interlocution between Pedologists and Farmers in Cerrado Region, Minas Gerais State (BR).

João Roberto Correia, Embrapa Cerrados, BR 020 Km 18 - Caixa Postal 08223 - CEP 73301-970, Planaltina - DF, Brazil, Lúcia Helena C. Anjos, UFRRJ Soils Depto, BR 465 km 7 CEP 23890-000, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil, Antonio Carlos Souza Lima, Museu Nacional-PPGAS, UFRJ, CEP 20940-040, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil, Delma Pessanha Neves, Anthropology Dept.-PPGACP, UFF, CEP 24310-250, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil, and Luciano de Oliveira Toledo, Soil Dept. - UFRRJ, CEP 23890-000, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil.

Although there is a great volume of information about Brazilian soil attributes and their landscape distribution, there are many problems when we try to use the information for land usage planning, mainly of small areas such as in rural communities. For the Cerrado biome, the soil diversity is not adequately expressed in the existent soil surveys. Less than 1% of soils in this biome are mapped in scales more detailed than 1:100.000. Thus, sustainable land management proposals are threatened to fail. Another limitation refers to the language style and form of surveys; they show a low compatibility with the needs of the final users (farmers, environmental planners, extension agents, etc.). Some of the difficulties of translating the pedological information result from not considering the men as a component of the environment. Thus, it is necessary to develop tools for allowing a better use of knowledge, searching to integrate the man and their relationship with natural resources, and to understand how this relationship is established. The objective of this study was to elaborate a landscape hierarchy from the farmers and pedologists point of views, developing, a soil survey adapted to the reality of residents in rural communities, that would take in account the knowledge accumulated by these populations during many generations. The research was done in areas of farmers in Comunidade Água Boa 2, municipality of Rio Pardo de Minas, located in the north region of Minas Gerais State, Brazil. A collection of methodological procedures is presented along the study they were necessary to develop the research. They include since the initial contact with the farmers till the elaboration of the maps of soil and lands. It is also discussed the aspects related to the relationship farmer-pedologist, important to reach the main objective of the study. The soil survey showed 33 soil map unities, where the Cambissolo Háplico (Inceptisol) was the dominant soil class in the area. The Cambissolos Flúvicos (Inceptisol), Gleissolos (Aquent) and Neossolos Flúvicos (Entisol) were the soils elected by the farmers for cultivation. The environmental fragility was show by the soil texture (medium) and slopes above 20%, which dominated in the area, accordingly to the soil parent material. The environment stratification was elaborated from the local landscape definitions (“chapada”, “charrielo”, “carrasco”, “pirambeira”, “tabuleiro”, and “baixa”), which allowed to establish relationships between the farmers knowledge with that of the technicians. A Land Map was created, composed of 12 map unities, based on the Pedological Map and in the farmers' information. This study showed that it is possible to establish relationships between the fields of knowledge, and that as the SiBCS (Brazilian System of Soil Classification), the farmers also develop their own hierarchy system for land classification. For this comprehension, it is necessary to use tools from ethnography studies. The experience reported allows contributing to strength the bases of a new approach for soil and environmental characterization: the ethnopedology. It is also proposed the creation of environment phases to best position the pedological information when studying areas of small family farmers. A joined work with universities and agriculture technical schools is suggested to form agents qualified to disseminate this new approach.

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