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Women and indigenous knowledge systems in rural subsistence farming: the case of climate change in Africa

Phindile Lukhele-Olorunju, Calvin Gwandure


This paper assesses indigenous knowledge systems used by women in rural subsistence farming in Africa. The focus is on indigenous knowledge systems that help farmers to survive and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. They apply this knowledge in the absence of modern technology to grow crops and raise livestock and poultry. A survey of literature revealed various indigenous technologies that women use in crop, livestock and poultry production. The analysis of indigenous knowledge systems includes seed and breed selection, seed protection and preservation, weeding and intercropping, free-range farming and the use of indigenous technologies in livestock and poultry treatment. Science and technology should benefit rural women: they should be able to use appropriate technologies, and to upgrade their technical skills and increase their knowledge of sustainable agriculture.

AJOL African Journals Online