The Role of Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Enhancing Agricultural Productivity in Kenya

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Muthee, Daniel W.
Gwademba, Goudian Kilemba
Masinde, Johnson
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Gretsa University
This paper gives an insight into the role of indigenous knowledge systems in improving agricultural productivity in Kenya. It examines how application of indigenous knowledge can help to scale up sustainable agricultural intensification in order to increase production, protect the environment and reduce poverty. The paper describes different forms of indigenous knowledge and recognizes the important role that indigenous people and their knowledge of the environment, can play in the enhancement of agricultural productivity and environmental protection. While indigenous knowledge has been the basis for local-level decision-making in many rural farming communities in Kenya, the paper finds that, its application has not been wholly integrated into the farming systems not only by local farming communities but also by researchers, extension service providers, scientists, policy makers and planners striving to improve conditions in rural areas and suggests how indigenous knowledge can be applied in improving agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers in Kenya. The paper considers the broad knowledge indigenous people have on how to live sustainably, but discerns that formal education systems sometimes disrupted this sound knowledge by creating an assumption that it is outdated and irrelevant in addressing present-day agricultural challenges. The findings of this paper will help agricultural stakeholders change the perceptions and attitudes they have towards various Indigenous Knowledge Systems in enhancing agricultural productivity and should, therefore, be promoted and that awareness of this importance should be created through policy formulation and implementation in order to foster consciousness among smallholder farmers in Kenya.
An Article Published in Eastern Africa Journal of Contemporary Research (EAJCR)
Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Farming Communities, Conservation Agriculture