Local knowledge and the social shaping of soil investments : critical perspectives on the assessment of soil degradation in Africa

Fairhead, James
Scoones, Ian
Land Use Policy
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This paper explores local knowledge and practices in soil management and investment that have frequently gone unrecognised in assessments of soil fertility transformations and trends. Case material drawn largely from the Guinea savannas of West Africa is used to challenge the assumptions and methods that agronomists have been using to assess soil fertility transformations and trends. It outlines the need for an approach to the study of soil fertility that engages more comparatively with local knowledge, and appreciates the social and moral orders which shape the ways both African farmers and western agronomists use and understand soils.
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Land Use Policy
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Journal Issue/Article
Grassland Society of Southern Africa

The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.