Ethnobotany of small agricultural systems in Mantiqueira's Mountain ...

Ethnobotany of small agricultural systems in Mantiqueira's Mountain ...

Ethnobotany of small agricultural

systems in Mantiqueira’s Mountain

region, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

Tatiana Mota Miranda

UNESP Rio Claro

Introduction to Institution

• UNESP –São Paulo State University

• Municipality: Rio Claro

• State: São Paulo

• Doctoral student: Plant Biology (4th • Focus: Ethnobotany


Ecology and Botany Departments

Project context

Study area:

‐ Conceição dos Ouros (MG)

‐ rural areas (17 communities; 2500 inhabitants)

small agricultural systems –diversified

production (rice, beans, maize, potato, coffe, milk...)

‐ cassava cultivation:

‐ local and improved varieties

‐ subsistence and starch flour –“polvilho”

‐ 25 factories of starch flour

City - Conceição dos Ouros Rural area

Agricultural Systems

Cassava cultivation

Cassava –variety white

Cassava stems

Starch flour factory

More specifics on the project

• Report the practiced agriculture

– cassava

• Understand links between socio‐

cultural aspects and


• Understand links between

farmers’ action and diversity :

generation ‐ maintenance ‐ loss

Non traditional systems maintain

agrobiodiversity? At what level?

Key activities

Institution’s role:

• Produce and document knowledge about

the research area:

‐ Farmers knowledge

‐ Agricultural management

‐ Roots and tuber inventory

‐ Cassava diversity

‐ Seed system

‐ Production of starch flour

• Value farmers’


• Exchange knowledge

• Try to stimulate agrobiodiversity


Community’s role:

• Exchange knowledge

• Show necessities

• Act in agrobiodiversity conservation*

• Methodological tools:

interviews, meetings, participant observation

genetic analysis of cassava

Some methodological steps



‐ Institute:

‐ generation of knowledge:

agrobiodiversity conservation

‐ Communities:

‐ NOW: Worth of knowledge

‐ FUTURE: Local organization,

maintenance of knowledge and local

varieties of cassava, conservation of

knowledge and agrobiodiversity*


• Methodological aspects:

‐ construction during the research (census,

inventory, management, cassava varieties, genetic


• Personal aspects:

respect local/farmer’s time

listen to farmer’s life experience

discover another perspective, view of life

• New acting area:

‐ Molecular Biology (cassava diversity)

General conclusions

Research work –diagnose

‐ Join knowledge from the

course + practice

‐ Encourage and promote

agrobiodiversity conservation

(future researches)

Thank you!

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