Date of this Version
This study was undertaken to describe the role played by Indigenous Knowledge (IK) (Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Traditional Knowledge (TK)) of the local community farmers in Lindi and Mtwara regions and determine their overall perceptions on usefulness of IK in the pursuit of their farming activities. The study employed a mixed method approach (case study and cross sectional survey). It involved 230 respondents comprising 96 (41.7%) female and 134 (58.3%) males. The study found that many farmers possess an extensive indigenous knowledge on soil characteristics, cropping systems, land suitability for farming, preservation of planting materials, methods of crop planting, crop preservation after harvesting, plant pests, diseases, predators and their control and agro-biodiversity management around community surroundings. Moreover, 151 (65.7%) of the respondents reported that IK is sufficient for solving farming problems, 57 (24.8%) were not satisfied with existing IK in their communities, and 22 (9.6%) respondents did not have any opinion. Also, when asked to state their opinions on usefulness of IK in the management of agro-biodiversity, 212 (95.0%) said indigenous knowledge is useful and only 11 (5.0%) said it is not useful. It can therefore, be plausibly concluded that the communities know the benefit potentials of IK and indigenous agro-biodiversity knowledge for their survival. In view of the above, it is recommended that identification of IK types is important in determining and increasing understanding on what farmers know and how that knowledge can be located and used to add value to agricultural productivity. Agricultural development can be best achieved if researchers and extension officers are educated on the significance, complexity and usefulness of local knowledge.