n Africa Insight - Using indigenous knowledge in traditional agricultural systems for poverty and hunger eradication : reflections on prospects in South Africa

Volume 37, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


This paper discusses the role of indigenous knowledge in traditional agriculture and its potential in contributing to food security, poverty and hunger eradication, and increased employment in South Africa. It is noted that indigenous knowledge can inform rural agricultural production, storage, processing, marketing, and food preparation, as well as the fashioning of farm tools, selection of crop and animal breeding stock, crop and animal health, and genetic manipulations to shorten crop and livestock gestation periods. As a labour-intensive but cost-effective application, indigenous knowledge proves a viable option for resource-poor farmers in their pursuit of increased output and income. The fear that the generation holding the quantum of indigenous knowledge is fast aging and dying out underpins the urgency of this discourse.

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