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Reviewing the applications of indigenous knowledge systems in innovative crop production

Medicine Magocha
Puffy Soundy
Mammo Muchie
Blessing Magocha


Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) refer to local, peasant, traditional knowledge, or African farming systems. They are continually influenced by creativity, experimentation and contact with external systems. This study reviewed literature on the applications of various indigenous knowledge practices and systems in crop production. Significant contributions to global knowledge originated from indigenous people, such as in medicine
and veterinary medicine with intimate understanding of local environments. Some forms of IK are expressed in stories, legends, folklore, rituals, songs and laws. Perspectives and applications of IKS constitute the unique unity in diversity and its innate and embodied essence of humanity, spirituality, society and environment. The two main IKS theories reviewed were indigenous knowledge innovation systems (IKIS) and  postmodernism. Challenges in adoption of IKS practices included farmers who perceive IKS as outdated, lack of institutional focus on preserving and promoting indigenous knowledge and poor government support in incorporating IKS into agricultural policy frameworks. Future work
may focus on determining the link between the IK system and the western technology, maintaining the value of indigenous knowledge base.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS), indigenous knowledge innovation systems (IKIS), African farming systems, agricultural policy frameworks, changing environments.