n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - Comparative review of indigenous knowledge systems and modern climate science

Volume 8 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


Throughout the years, long before the introduction of modern climate science, indigenous knowledge has been the backbone for rural smallholder farmers. For centuries farming continued successfully as a livelihood source for most smallholder farmers. These farmers had indigenous ways of using nature for gathering, predicting and interpreting weather conditions. The natural indicators involved the observation of animal behavior, plants, clouds, and moon. However, indigenous knowledge systems have become unpredictable due to climate variability and change. These effects have negatively influenced rural smallholder farmers' livelihoods and posed a massive threat to their food security due to high reliability on natural resources for agricultural production. Delayed extension services and reliability on gathering climate information from extension officers has been another challenge. This review, therefore, seeks to highlight the importance and the contribution of these two knowledge systems, and how they can be integrated to help sustain rural smallholder farmer's livelihoods.

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