Farmers Possess Valuable Indigenous Climate Knowledge

Farmers Possess Valuable Indigenous Climate Knowledge

South Africa: Indigenous Knowledge Of Climatic Conditions For Sustainable Crop Production Under Resource-Poor Farming Conditions Using Participatory Techniques

L. O. Nethononda, J.J. O Odhiambo, and D. G. Paterson, 2012

Rambuda irrigation scheme is situated in Vhembe District of Limpopo Province in South Africa. It was established in 1952 and farmers do not have access to recorded climatic information. Farmers are growing crops on a trial and error basis, hence low yields and crop loses. The objective of the study was to investigate indigenous knowledge of climatic conditions relevant for crop production using participatory techniques. Situation analysis was conducted to gain information on factors influencing crop choice. Participatory exercise was conducted with 33 of 104 of plot-holders. Farmers could identify climatic factors important for crop production and those limiting to crop performance. Hot, dry conditions during August to October and January months were limiting to crops, particularly sweet potato production. The results showed that indigenous knowledge of climate needs to be considered during agricultural development planning and scientists need to investigate linkages between modern agro-meteorology and indigenous knowledge.

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