Aspects of indigenous knowledge and protection in small-scale farming systems: A challenge for advancement
AbstractThe paper presents the results of a research project undertaken in the Magatle community, Capricorn district, Limpopo province during 2003/2004, which explored local farmers’ perceptions and understanding of indigenous farming, and the way in which their knowledge can be protected. The main aim of the study was to identify key aspects of IK and protection in such a way that they can be used to guide farmer-based research and training activities. The ultimate objective is to promote the use of IK to conserve agricultural
resources and intensify production in Magatle and Madišha Leolo villages. The study adopted a systems approach, and qualitative data were collected. Although farming activities may seem to be determined solely by the physical properties of fields, the findings indicate that the farming practices are shaped by historical processes and local
cultural values, and that the management strategies adopted by farmers are influenced by a broad range of factors. Understanding the reasoning behind indigenous farming strategies practised by farmers requires an open mind in recognizing and taking into account certain subjective and cultural factors.