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Applying indigenous knowledge in agricultural extension: The case of Agritex workers in Zimbabwe

Tinashe Mugwisi


Indigenous knowledge (IK) can be viewed as local knowledge that has been developed and accumulated, over time, by a community and has been passed down over generations. This knowledge is represented in most spheres of human activity, such as in agriculture, traditional and alternative medicine, human and animal health, forestry and botany. The purpose of this article is to discuss how IK is accessed and used by agricultural extension workers in Zimbabwe. The relevant literature is reviewed and the focus is largely on the application of IK in agricultural extension. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used for the article; a questionnaire was distributed and extension workers were drawn from eight provinces. Mashonaland Central Province had the highest number of respondents because the population in this province included ward and village extension workers in addition to the district and provincial extension officers and supervisors targeted in each province. The article shows that IK is relevant in modern-day agriculture and has to receive sufficient attention in extension work. It is recommended that IK be documented and integrated into research, education and training for posterity.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, agriculture, extension, Zimbabwe.