Documenting and disseminating agricultural Indigenous knowledge for sustainable food security in Uganda
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Indigenous Knowledge (IK) has for long been an integral part for maintaining and strengthening sustainable livelihood opportunities in rural communities. Indigenous Knowledge is socio-economically affordable, sustainable, involves minimum risk to rural farmers and producers, and it is better for conserving natural resources. Indigenous Knowledge in rural agricultural communities has supported agricultural practices be productive and environmentally sustainable even under extremely challenging conditions. Despite interferences from the colonial practices and systems, IK remains highly practiced in rural communities. This work examines the concept of Agricultural Indigenous Knowledge (AIK) focusing on how the AgShare methodology is promoting the documentation and dissemination of AIK and how the AIK is promoting sustainable food security and improving livelihoods among rural communities. It also highlights the achievements of the project as well as challenges in the protection and preservation of IK in the selected rural communities in Uganda. Data were collected using focus group discussions. Field visits were also made to the three districts to observe unplanned acts, activities and events while taking videos and audio information recorded through the use of smart-phones. Pictures and documents were reviewed. From the study findings, three forms of AIK were revealed namely: pest and disease management, food/grain storage and preservation, and soil fertility management. Indigenous Knowledge has remained un-documented pausing a threat to its consistency and sustained utilization. Limited access to relevant and usable AIK among diverse stakeholders is a major constraint to its utilization. Based on the experience from the AgShare methodology implementation, it is hoped that development partners, rural farmers, agricultural faculties of African Universities and researchers will leapfrog in the utilisation of IK as well as rejuvenate the discourse on its preservation.