Development and Local Knowledge: New Approaches to Issues in Natural Resources Management, Conservation, and Agriculture

By Alan Bicker; Paul Sillitoe et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 10

Sandy-clay or clayey-sand?

Mapping indigenous and scientific soil knowledge on the Bangladesh floodplains

Paul Sillitoe, Julian Barr and Mahbub Alam

Indigenous knowledge research aims to facilitate the targeting of development resources more effectively on the poor. The compatibility of local ideas with scientific ones is a central issue in this work. One objective is to facilitate communication between scientists and local people, on the assumption, fundamental to development interventions, that science may have something to offer them in tackling their problems. Furthermore, it is possible that if scientific and indigenous knowledge are comparable, and if scientists are able to access local knowledge, this might save on expensive scientific research - on the grounds that sharing what the local people already know may reduce the need to conduct research into some topics - and also facilitate empowerment of the poor - because if their knowledge features prominently in any development initiative this will give them a meaningful role in its planning and implementation.

This chapter’s aims are both intellectual and practical. It seeks to compare local Bengali farmers’ soil classification with that of soil scientists, to explore parallels and differences. It builds on research undertaken on the Bangladesh floodplain to explore methods for improving natural resources research by combining scientific study of natural resources with farmers’ and fishers’ local knowledge of resources (Alam 2001; Ghosh 2002; Sillitoe 2000). It takes as its premises that (i) farmers’ knowledge of the soils in their fields is the most locally relevant understanding of those soils, and (ii) there are potential efficiency gains over expensive land and soil surveys in collecting and using local soil knowledge. The chapter correlates the mapping of local soil names with a scientific soil survey. It seeks not only to evaluate understandings of soil distribution but also to assess the extent to which a local population’s knowledge of its soils might substitute for, or complement, an expensive scientific soil survey. This reverses the usual dialogue in development, by emphasizing local people informing scientists, assessing the extent to which they might communicate intelligence about their soils, so reducing the need to undertake costly pedological survey work; in addition to facilitating the communication of locally perceived problems.

The aims are utilitarian, to improve the relevance of, and reduce the costs of, scientific soil surveys. Scientific land resource and soil surveys are expensive. The

-174-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Development and Local Knowledge: New Approaches to Issues in Natural Resources Management, Conservation, and Agriculture
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 222

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.