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TitleIntegrating Indigenous Knowledge for Food Security: Perspectives from the Millennium Village Project at Bar-Sauri in Nyanza Province in Kenya
AuthorPonge, Awuor
SubjectFood Security
Date of Publication2013
PublisherAfrican Research and Resource Forum (ARRF)
Number of Pages43 pages
Geographical CoverageKenya
KeywordsMillennium Village Project, Sustainable Development, Indigenous Knowledge
AbstractRecent development in the field of agriculture and rural development has seen a steady rejuvenated recognition of indigenous knowledge for sustainable development. However, this recognition has not downplayed the role that modern scientific knowledge has played. It is therefore justifiable to advocate for a marriage-of-convenience between the two knowledge systems for effective output and eventual sustainability. The role of indigenous knowledge in sustaining the livelihoods of Kenya's poorest people has often been neglected in the agricultural and rural development sector. The use of local knowledge in enhancing food security and improving agricultural productivity, however, is increasingly becoming an important issue in the Millennium Village Project at Bar-Sauri in Nyanza Province in Kenya. According to FAO, ‘food security’ means that food is available at all times; that all persons have means of access to it; that it is nutritionally adequate in terms of quantity, quality and variety; and that it is acceptable within the given culture’. Food security activities in essence emphasise food production and improved access to food in a locality. In the context of the Millennium Village Project at Bar-Sauri, the concern with food security is at the household level. Since agriculture has been seen as the vehicle through which poverty can be alleviated, it goes without saying that agricultural production must be enhanced to ensure not only food security for the people, but to see the village transition from simple subsistence to self-sustaining commercial activity in line with the initial goal of the MVP. Indigenous Knowledge can help to alleviate poverty if it is effectively applied in agriculture and supported by appropriate technology interventions that consider peoples’ circumstances. Sustainable productivity of crops for food security usually entails efficient utilization of locally available resources. This includes the utilization of abundant traditional (local) knowledge in crop production such as internally derived inputs, recycled nutrients, crop rotations, improved management of pests and diverse cropping. It is unlikely that the intervention of the MVP will lead to food security on its own without taking cognizance of the role of indigenous knowledge. It is also clear that indigenous knowledge on its own cannot be a panacea to the crop production shocks. However, it is important to appreciate that the two are complimentary in their strengths and weaknesses and combined, they may achieve what neither would alone. There is therefore, need to value indigenous peoples’ knowledge and practices in investment projects, and build on these assets by supporting pro-poor research that blends traditional knowledge and practices with modern scientific approaches.
Copyright HolderAfrican Research and Resource Forum (ARRF)
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Filesize501981 MB
File FormatPDF
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