In the tropics, tapping into farmerâ€™s soil knowledge and incorporating them in experientialâ€based insight can help alleviate the limitations of working in dataâ€poor regions. The objective of this study was to understand how farmers of the savannah peri forest of center Cameroon use soil knowledge for crops allocation. To this end, semiâ€structured interviews, farm mapping exercises and farmâ€transect walks were used on 18 randomly selected farms. Results indicated that farmersâ€™ knowledge is tied directly to site suitability for specific crops. Ombolote soils, found on ridgetops and shoulders, described as hard, dry, and classified as Ultisols, were unsuitable for most crops. Emess mess soils found on slopes, and described as shallow, were found suitable for acidâ€tolerant crops. Omboum soils, found on lowland and classified as Inceptisol, were found unsuitable for cocoa and yams. .Elouk louk soils, described as smooth, moist, found on lowland depressions and classified as Entisol were reported by all the farmers to be suitable for all crops, as they were growed well in them. Apomben soils, found only in the alluvial floodplains, classified as Entisols (Fluvisols), and suitable for almost all crops except cassava. Eleugn soils were classified as Inceptisol found on lowland depressions or lowâ€lying areas and unsuitable for for cassava and cocoa. While farmers identify limitations of the Ombolote soil, they often have to farm this soil as it is the predominant soil type on their farm. These data and experiences will be used to aid future agricultural development work in the region, including the restoration of unproductive soils.
Keywords: Cameroon, soils local knowledge, crop allocation, productivity