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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index


Indigenous Knowledge and Research S3

Nielsen, F.

International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) P.O.Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya and University of Copenhagen, Department of Geography ุster Voldgade 10, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark

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Indigenous knowledge has received much attention over the last decade. From both development and research organisations a strong belief is expressed that indigenous knowledge is the key to solving many environmental, developmental and medical problems.

Indigenous knowledge is likely to have its biggest comparative advantage over formal science in systems and subjects that are not well researched byf ormal science; in systems that have been practised by many people for along time and thus much knowledge and experience has been gained, and in subjects that require long-term formal research. All three considerations hold for agroforestry.

On-going research under the AFRENA (Agroforestry Research Network for Africa) collaborative programme in Uganda tries to increase the understanding of what is required for such research to be successful, what the limitations are, and how methods focusing on indigenous knowledge compare to other methods.

Preliminary findings suggest that increased used of indigenous knowledge is possible within formal agroforestry research but that extensive use of indigenous knowledge requires different research approaches where farmers participate in the formal research process instead of just providing information.

Boef, W. de, Amanor, K., Wellard, K. Bebbington, A. (1993): Cultivating knowledge - Genetic diversity, farmer experimentation and crop research, Intermediate Technology Publications.

Chambers, R., Pacey, A., Thrupp, LA., eds., (1990): Farmer First: Farmer innovation and agricultural research, United Kingdom: IntermediateTechnology Publications, London.

Scoones, I., Thompson, J., Chambers, R. 1994: Beyond Farmer First - Rural people's knowledge, agricultural research and extension practice, Intermediate Technology Publications 1994.