Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and Practices in Traditional Animal Healthcare in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs): The Challenges and Future on Animal Health and Production Services Delivery

  • L Mpoke
  • M Mathiu


Traditional animal health care refers to the local means and resources that have been used by communities over time in the keeping and caring of their livestock. Some of these communities have a wealth of knowledge and immense experiential practice in animal health care and production, derived mainly from IK on livestock and environmental resources. This system is highly practiced in the ASAL areas where modern animal health delivery systems are either scarce or totally absent. This rich and time proven IK can be harnessed to improve animal health and production for food security in the ASALs. In participatory research with development agencies, and research institutions; communities take a leading role in description and administration of local remedies, while the other parties observe research protocols and scientific procedures in validation trials of local knowledge and practices. The communities have exhibited exceptional knowledge and understanding of traditional remedies and their effective use. This paper highlights the role and integration of IK in animal health and production in ASALs, the constraints faced and recommendations on how to overcome them. Hopefully this will stimulate wider participation by veterinarians and other stakeholders in charting a way forward on the integration of IK practices in animal health and production service delivery in the ASALs.

The Kenya Veterinarian Vol. 29 2005: pp. 99-103

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eISSN: 0256-5161