In April, professor Agnieszka Ewa Latawiec published the article entitled “Biochar and Forage Peanut improve pastures: Evidence from a field experiment in Brazil” in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.
The publication had over 20 co-authors from 13 different institutions. The work presented the impact of different soil enhancers on soil quality and productivity of three cultivars of Brachiaria (Syn. Urochloa) forage grass is presented. Soil enhancers included: biochar – a carbon-rich product from biomass pyrolysis, moinha (local charcoal residue), traditional fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, lime, and forage peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Amarillo).
Thie paper presents a participatory approach wherein the landowner was involved in the design of the research, was active throughout the execution of the experiment and was involved in the analysis and interpretation of the results. Indeed, for science to be considered in practice, it is necessary that soil management practices are developed together with rural communities. According to the authors, such an approach facilities two-way knowledge exchange wherein scientists and farmers both benefit from their experience and insights. Building strategies with farmers, incorporating their knowledge, and contributing to their economic development is a way of improving their self-esteem and, at the same time, expanding and valuing academic knowledge. The work also argues that, together with farmers, a diagnosis of problems related to soil management should be performed and solutions evaluated based on feasible actions and goals for all actors involved.
Access the full article here.
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