n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - The relevance of indigenous knowledge for small-scale farming in Tanzania

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



This article is based on a study that sought to explore small-scale farmers' perceptions and understanding of indigenous farming with an ultimate goal of promoting the use of IK for agricultural development in Tanzania. This study was mainly qualitative, where semistructured interviews were used to collect data from 181 small-scale farmers in six rural districts of Tanzania. Based on the study findings, it was evident that the local communities had an extensive base of IK and understanding of their environment, and they were able to put appropriate managerial skills and adaptive strategies to crop and animal farming. The findings also showed that IK was location specific, and farmers possessed IK on various farm tasks such as evaluation of soil quality, preservation of planting materials and crops, plant diseases and pest control and animal disease control. It is thus important to understand and facilitate the identification, documentation and use of this knowledge as well as integrating it with conventional knowledge for improved agricultural activities. The knowledge intermediaries (research, education, information and knowledge services, and agricultural support services) should thus conduct regular user studies to identify, validate and document IK in order to determine areas that need intervention, and to enable the incorporation of IK into research to enrich the agricultural technology development process and make it relevant for farmers.

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