Nurturing soil science in Indonesia by combining indigenous and scientific knowledge.
This paper presents an overview of a multi-year research in collaboration with local farmers in Indonesia which confirmed the rationale for certain current farming practices in scientific terms. These practices improve soil fertility in a short period (3 years) and thus improved the efficiency of input use, such as lowering the need for inorganic fertilizers, soil tillage and labour. The farmers believe that Imperata cylindrica causes lower soil fertility, but that Chromolaena odorata and Wedelia trilobata can greatly improve soil fertility. This represents an opportunity for soil scientists and local farmers to find ways together to manage the soil without making these introduced plants become too invasive.