Ethnobotanical Knowledge and Crop Diversity in Swidden Fields: A Study in a Native Amazonian Society uri icon

abstract

  • Crop diversity protects food consumption in poor households within developing nations. Here we estimate the association between crop diversity on swidden fields and ethnobotanical knowledge. We conducted research among 215 male household heads from a native Amazonian society. Using multivariate regressions, we found higher crop diversity among households that depend on agricultural production for household consumption. We also found a statistically significant and positive, but low, association between the ethnobotanical knowledge of the male household head and crop diversity. Doubling the stock of ethnobotanical knowledge of the male household head is associated with a 9% increase in the number of crops sown by a household. The association remained after we controlled for the household level of market exposure, but vanished after we controlled for the social capital of the male household head. Future research should compare the association between ethnobotanical knowledge and crop diversity across different agricultural systems (i.e., home gardens, fallow fields)

publication date

  • 2008
  • 2008