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FARMER INNOVATIONS AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE WHICH PROMOTE AGROBIODIVERSITY IN KENYA, A CASE STUDY OF MWINGI AND BONDO DISTRICTS PRESENTED AT REGIONAL WORKSHOP.

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Presentation on theme: "FARMER INNOVATIONS AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE WHICH PROMOTE AGROBIODIVERSITY IN KENYA, A CASE STUDY OF MWINGI AND BONDO DISTRICTS PRESENTED AT REGIONAL WORKSHOP."— Presentation transcript:

1 FARMER INNOVATIONS AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE WHICH PROMOTE AGROBIODIVERSITY IN KENYA, A CASE STUDY OF MWINGI AND BONDO DISTRICTS PRESENTED AT REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON LEARNING AGROBIODIVERSITY: OPTIONS FOR UNIVERSITIES IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA JANUARY, 2009, ICRAF HOUSE, NAIROBI, KENYA PROFESSOR R.W. MICHIEKA UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI AND FAO CONSULTANT 1

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3 INTRODUCTION FAO-Netherlands partnership programme on Agrobiodiversity (AGBD) was launched in 2005 to support ecosystems, rural livelihoods and food security Farmer innovations (FI) and Indigenous Knowledge (IK) promote AGBD, sustainability and food security FI and IK neglected by researchers and extensionists but are rich in relevance for sustainability objective- to contribute in the mainstreaming of AGBD through the experiences gained in situ and on farms in two districts of Kenya FI and IK should be incorporated into research, extension and curriculum when mainstreaming AGBD 3

4 METHODOLOGY Mwingi in Eastern province- semi-arid area with agro- pastoral agro-ecosystem Bondo in Nyanza Province- in Lake Victoria basin hence sub-humid and agro-ecosystem has aquatic and terrestrial components Data sourced from Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) and stakeholder workshops, FAO and internet PRAs composed of farmers, FFS coordinators and staff from ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Water who used a checklist developed by FAO 4

5 Bondo Mwingi Map of Kenya showing the location of Mwingi and Bondo 5

6 FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 230 innovative farmers have been identified, verified and characterised there are about 20 categories of farmer innovations main innovations are in water harvesting, irrigation, ethno-veterinary, soil and water conservation and biological pest control the innovative farmers organised into groups that do cross visits and exchange of ideas innovativeness cuts across gender as women also participate and win awards 6

7 Major categories of farmer innovations Others Livestock management Agro-forestry Farm tools and machinery Poultry management Bee keeping Soil fertility management Crop management Tree crop farming Water storage Seed/crop storage Processing for export Seed crop bulking Agro-processing Water table management 7

8 indigenous knowledge (IK) relevant to AGBD include traditional recipes, agronomy, seed issues, herbal medicine and rites a wide variety of plants and animals both domesticated and wild are used but not in a destructive way like today much of IK is getting lost for example variety of traditional foodstuffs as indicated in the balance sheet 8

9 Lost crops (or disappearing)Crops gained millet, finger millet, sorghum, Dolichos, arrowroot, pumpkin, cowpeas, banana, sweet potatoes, date palm, tamarind, cassava, dumbbell, ndakithi, mbumbu, thalama maize, pawpaw, mangoes, oranges, sisal, guava and loquat Net loss9 Total 16 7 Balance sheet comparing indigenous and introduced crops in Mwingi Disrtrict 9

10 Crop diversity in Bondo A wide diversity of crops/crop varieties are grown in Bondo. During the assessment, households (HH) could identify >40 species of cereals, grain legumes, root and tuber, oil crops, vegetables, fibers and underutilized crops grown for Food and Cash. Although there were different varieties for each crop, for the major crops, the HH could identify 7 varieties of maize, 9 of sorghum and 5 for beans 10

11 MwingiBondo Lost indigenous crops (or getting lost) Introduced crops7 11 Net loss (or gain) Lost indigenous livestock (or getting lost) 33 Introduced livestock 23 Net loss (or gain) 0 Original fish stock (species) -16 Lost or unavailable -12 Currently available -4 A balance sheet for indigenous and introduced crops in Mwingi and Bondo districts 11

12 IK can prove modern ways wrong e.g. in farmers Mwingi are urged to stop ratooning sorghum but a study by KARI proved farmers right i.e. more profitable ecologically adapted plant and animal species in Mwingi give better returns as they can do relatively well under adverse conditions most farmers in both districts still intercrop as a risk aversion strategy indigenous methods of pest control like use of ash have little environmental impact, for instance there is little or no interference with pollinators 12

13 Indigenous knowledge and gender IK has a strong correlation with gender e.g. herbal practise mainly by men seed issues for women e.g. seed preservation and marketing making women the main custodians of plant genetic resources Important because private seed companies pay little attention to indigenous crops Women at trading centre selling grains for food and seed 13

14 Major findings in relation to access of seed Informal seed sector supply over 90% seed needs of Resource Poor Farmers in the rural areas of Bondo, however, seed regulations do not support the sector development Existing seed policies target national seed requirements and large scale farmers It is mainly women that are involved in the informal seed sector, however, their involvement in national seed policy and programs is very limited Most NGOs and CBOs involved in informal seed initiatives at grass root levels are structurally weak, poorly resourced, lack allies and remain largely unrecognized by state institutions and research process Farmers view own saved, relatives and market seeds as more accessible, relatively good in quality and very reliable compared to certified seeds 14

15 Gender and crops grown-Bondo Crops indicated to be mainly grown by men Crops grown by both men and women Crops indicated to be mainly grown by women Gombe location Orange, banana, passion, avocado, lemon, nduta, Sandra, njamna, cashewnut, cotton Groundnut, mangoes, pawpaw, bean, maize, tomatoes, kales Maize, sorghum, cowpea, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, green gram, crotolaria, spider plant, solanum nigram, sesame, cassava, spinach, gourd. Yimbo Location Tomatoes, soybean, grain amaranth, banana, sugarcane, sunflower, oranges, cotton, avocado, cashewnut Sorghum, maize, groundnut, bean, kales, sesame Sweet potatoes, kales, cowpea, cassava, jute plant, sunhemp, spider plant, leafy amaranth, black night shade, green gram, millets, pumpkins, finder millet 15

16 Reasons for neglect and underutilization of traditional crops Changing eating habits of younger generations Inadequate knowledge on cooking methods of the traditional crops Lack of knowledge on crop husbandry practices Lack/limited seed sources for the traditional crops 16

17 Threats to Indigenous knowledge and AGBD changing values due to globalisation-traditional ways shunned destruction of habitants for birds, insects including pollinators etc new technology that makes IK redundant 17

18 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS FI and IK are neglected by research and extension yet theyre important in sustainability and AGBD adoption of new technologies can be easier if IK is incorporated policies encouraging community identified women and men to perform on-farm variety development, seed production, processing and marketing Funding of FI and retrieval and documentation of IK FI and IK are important for incorporation into AGBD curriculum 18

19 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS the organizers led by Regina Laub FAO Rome and Kenya all PRA participants 19


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