Local indigenous knowledge systemsnetworks

Farmers develop and enhance knowledge and technology from their previous experiences, the so-called local or indigenous knowledge. Examples of applications of local knowledge are in selection/improvement of seeds, choice of desirable and effective crops/varieties, cultural practices such as mulching, no tillage, etc.and many others. Farmer-developed technologies are actual manifestations of their coping mechanisms to various environmental challenges in their farms.

For example, in the tribal farms of the eastern part of Madha Pradesh, India, old agro-technologies are still carried on, with slight modifications where traditional varieties occupy more than 60 per cent of cultivated land and majority of the farmers still use indigenous techniques from seed selection to storage (Sharma et al. 2006).

In most poor, rural communities, the perception of the relationship between agriculture and weather/climate is quite different from that in the affluent farming areas, tte farmers are able to identify specific and important weather patterns with the help of their perceived indicators (Valdivia et al. 2004). Farmers base their crop and other production decisions on their local knowledge systems, which have been developed from years of observations, experiences and experimentations. Predicting climate to them is an important cultural component, and the local knowledge systems provide them with the ability to make informed decisions, and in a way, prepare themselves psychologically.

In western cultures and also in countries where seasonal climate forecasting has already been developed to optimize the link of climate variation with agricultural production, there are now significant implications for improved agricultural yields. Perhaps, opportunities could now be open to link this scientific-based weather/climate forecast services with the local, indigenous knowledge, especially in rural communities.

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