Participatory Soil and Land Evaluation Mapping: An Alternative Approach to Improve Soil and Land Evaluation Information for Decision Makers
Results of soil and land evaluation survey and mapping, which were expected to be essential to rural land use and management planning, most of the time are not adequately used by their potential users and rarely reach the decision makers. This may reflect the poor communication between the main actors of the rural land use planning process and inappropriate language of the presented results. When following traditional methods, there is a risk that questions may be answered that have no relevance and/or those questions may not be answered properly according to the community expectation. Therefore, it is important to change the strategies of communication and language of the results to make information more useful to the decision makers. In this context, the objective of this work was to test a participatory soil survey and land evaluation methodology to make the information more useful and consequently more used by the decision makers. This work shows the results obtained up to now in Barra Bonita municipality, Santa Catarina State, southern Brazil. The study started with meetings, interviews and questionnaires with local community, and the main demands for information raised were the need for area expansion and management improvement of pastures for milk production. But, instead of giving them information showing soil types with technical language and a general information about land evaluation, the presented information shows what they want to know, namely, spatial location of potential new areas for pasture, what pasture type is better for different conditions and what management is recommended for each area. In the final stage of the study, participants positively evaluated the presented information.
KeywordsAlternative approach Decision makers Soil mapping Rural land use Land evaluation
This work was supported by CNPq, MDA/SAF, MDS/SESAN and Epagri.
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