Advertisement

Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 13–24 | Cite as

Legitimizing local knowledge: From displacement to empowerment for third world people

  • Lori Ann Thrupp
Articles

Abstract

Increasing attention has been given to “indigenous” knowledge in Third World rural societies as a potential basis for sustainable agricultural development. It has been found that many people have functional knowledge systems pertaining to their resources and environment, which are based on experience and experimentation, and which are sometimes based on unique epistemologies. Efforts have been made to include such knowledge in participatory research and projects. This paper discusses socio-political, institutional, and ethical issues that need to be considered in order to understand the actual limitations and contributions of such knowledge systems. It reviews the nature of local knowledge and suggests the need to recognize its unique values yet avoid romanticized views of its potential. Local knowledge and alternative bottom-up projects continue to be marginalized because of the dominance of conventional top-down R&approaches, pressures of agrochemical firms, scientific professionalism, and for other political-economic reasons. It is argued that the exploitation of local knowledge by formal institutions should be avoided; instead, people need to establish legitimacy of their knowledge for themselves, as a form of empowerment.

Keywords

Ethical Issue Veterinary Medicine Participatory Research Actual Limitation Local Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Altieri, M., 1983a.Agroecology: The Scientific Basis of Alternative Agriculture. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  2. Altieri, M., 1983b. “The question of small farm development: Who teaches whom?” inAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 9, pp. 401–405.Google Scholar
  3. Altieri, M., 1988. “Why Study Traditional Agriculture,” in C.R. Carrollet al. (eds),The Ecology of Agricultural Systems. New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  4. Altieri, M. and M. Anderson, 1986. “An ecological basis for the development of alternative agricultural systems for small farmers in the Third World,”American Journal of Alternative Agriculture. 1: 30–38.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, R., 1984. “Protecting the Environment Against the Poor”,The Ecologist. 11(2) pp. 53–60.Google Scholar
  6. Berlin, B., D. Breedlove, and P. Raven, 1973. “General principles of classification and nomenclature in folk biology,”American Anthropologist. 75: 214–242.Google Scholar
  7. Biggs, S. D., 1980a. “Informal Research and Development,”Ceres. July/Aug, 23–25.Google Scholar
  8. Biggs, S. D., 1980b. “Sources of Innovation in Agricultural Technology,” Paper for the Development Studies Association Workshop on Science and Technology, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford, 24–26 March, 1980.Google Scholar
  9. Biggs, S. D., 1985. “A farming systems approach: Some unanswered questions,”Agricultural Administration. Vol 18: 1–12.Google Scholar
  10. Brokensha, D., D. Warren, and O. Werner, 1980.Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Development. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  11. Carlier, H., 1987.Understanding Traditional Agriculture. Leusden, The Netherlands: Information Centre for Low External Input Agriculture.Google Scholar
  12. Chambers, R., 1980. “The small farmer is a professional,”Ceres. 13(2), July/August.Google Scholar
  13. Chambers, R., 1983.Rural Development: Putting the Last First. Harlow, United Kingdom: Longman.Google Scholar
  14. Chambers, R. and J. Jiggins, 1986.Agricultural Research for Resource-Poor Farmers: A Parsimonious Paradigm. IDS, Univ. of Sussex, Discussion Paper 220.Google Scholar
  15. Chambers, R. and B. P. Ghildyal, 1985. “Agricultural research for resource-poor farmers: a parsimonious paradigm,”Agricultural Administration. 20, pp. 1–30.Google Scholar
  16. Chambers, R., A. Pacey, and L. A. Thrupp, 1989.,Farmer First: Farmer Innovation and Agricultural Research. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  17. Cohen, J. and M. Uphoff, 1980. “Participation's Place in Rural Development: Seeking Clarity through Specificity,”World Development. 8: 213–235.Google Scholar
  18. Conklin, H. C., 1957.Hanunoo Agriculture in the Philippines. FAO Forestry Development Paper, no. 12, Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization.Google Scholar
  19. Conway, G., 1985. “Agroecosystem analysis,”Agricultural Administration. 20: 31–55.Google Scholar
  20. Cox, G., and M. Atkins, 1979.Agricultural Ecology. San Francisco, California: WH Freeman and Co.Google Scholar
  21. Culbert, T. P., 1974.The Lost Civilization: The Story of the Classic Maya. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  22. Eckholm, E., 1976.Losing Ground: Environmental Stress and World Food Prospects. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  23. Farrington, J. and A. Martin, 1987.Farmer Participatory Research: A Review of Concepts and Practices. ODI Agricultural Administration Network, Discussion Paper No. 19, Overseas Development Institute, London.Google Scholar
  24. Gliessman, S., R. Garcia, and M. Amador, 1981. “The ecological basis for the application of traditional agricultural technology in the management of tropical agroecosystems.”Agroecosystems. 7: 173–185.Google Scholar
  25. Gossett, T. E., 1965.Race: The History of an Idea in America, Shoken, New York.Google Scholar
  26. Howes, M., 1979. “Indigenous technical knowledge, analysis, implications, and issues,”IDS Bulletin. 10(2): 5–11.Google Scholar
  27. Howes, M. and R. Chambers, 1979. Workshop on Indigenous Technical Knowledge. Institute of Development Studies, Univ. of Sussex, England.Google Scholar
  28. Jiggins, J., 1989. “An examination of the impact of colonialism in establishing negative values and attitudes towards indigenous agricultural knowledge,” in D. M. Warrenet al. (eds),Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Implications for Agriculture and International Development. Iowa State University, Studies in Technology and Social Change, No. 11, Ames, Iowa.Google Scholar
  29. Juma, C., 1989.The Gene Hunters. London: Zed Press.Google Scholar
  30. Klee, G., 1980.World Systems of Traditional Resource Management, New York: J. Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  31. Koliske, L., 1936.The Moon and Growth of Plants, Anthroposophical Foundations.Google Scholar
  32. Leonard, J., 1985.Divesting Nature's Capital: The Political Economy of Environmental Abuse in Developing Countries. New York: Holmes and Meier.Google Scholar
  33. Lieber, A., 1980.El Influjo de la luna, EDAF. S. A. Espana.Google Scholar
  34. Marten, G. G., 1986.Traditional Agriculture in Southeast Asia: A Human Ecology Perspective, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  35. McNeely, J. and D. Pitt (eds), 1985.Culture and Conservation: The Human Dimension in Environmental Planning. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  36. Norgaard, R., 1984. “Traditional Agricultural Knowledge: Past performance, future prospects, and institutional implications,”American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 66: 874–878.Google Scholar
  37. Norgaard, R., 1987. “The epistemological basis of agroecology,” in M. Altieri (ed),Agroecology: The Scientific Basis of Alternative Agriculture. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  38. Posey, D. A., 1983. “Indigenous knowledge and Development: An ideological bridge to the future.”Ciencia e cultura, 35 (7) pp. 877–894.Google Scholar
  39. Rappaport, R., 1968.Pigs for the Ancestors: Ritual in the Ecology of a New Guinea People. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Rhoades, R. E., 1984.Breaking New Ground: Agricultural Anthropology. Lima, Peru: International Potato Center.Google Scholar
  41. Richards, P., 1979. “Community Environment knowledge in African rural development,”IDS Bulletin, Vol 10(2), 1979: 28–36.Google Scholar
  42. Richards, P., 1985.Indigenous Agricultural Revolution. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  43. Richards, P., 1986.Coping With Hunger: Hazard and Experiment in An African Rice Farming System. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  44. Rocheleau, D., 1987. “Women, Trees and Tenure: Implications for Agroforestry Research” in J. B. Raintree, ed.,Trees and Tenure. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Tenure Issues in Agroforestry. Nairobi: ICRAF.Google Scholar
  45. Slikkerveer, L. J., 1989. “Changing values and attitudes of social and natural scientists towards indigenous peoples and their knowledge systems, in D. M. Warrenet al (eds),Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Implications for Agriculture and International Development. Studies in Technology and Social Change, No. 11, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.Google Scholar
  46. Sumberg, J. and C. Okali, 1988. “Farmers, on-farm research and the development of technology,”Experimental Agriculture. Vol 24, part 3, pp. 333–342.Google Scholar
  47. Swift, J., 1979. “Notes on traditional knowledge, modern knowledge, and rural development,”IDS Bulletin. 10(2), 1979: 41–43.Google Scholar
  48. Thrupp, L. A., 1980.Deforestation, Agricultural Development, and Cattle-Expansion in Costa Rica: An Integrated Approach to Land-Use Transformation. Stanford University, Honors Thesis, Human Biology, Stanford, California.Google Scholar
  49. Thrupp, L. A., 1981. “The peasant view of conservation,”Ceres. 14(4) July/AugustGoogle Scholar
  50. Thrupp, L. A., 1984. “Women, Wood, and Work, In Kenya and Beyond,”Unasylva. (FAO Journal of Forestry — Special Issue). December.Google Scholar
  51. Thrupp, L. A., 1985. “Farmers decision making concerning pest control and pesticide use,” inProceedings of Course on Agroecology in Costa Rica, Organization of Tropical Studies, University of Costa Rica, San Jose.Google Scholar
  52. Thrupp, L. A., 1988.The Political Ecology of Pesticide Use in Developing Countries: Dilemmas in the Banana Sector of Costa Rica. Phd Dissertation, IDS, University of Sussex.Google Scholar
  53. Toledo, V., M. Carabias, C. Mapes, and C. Toledo, 1985.Ecología y Autosuficiencia Alimentaria. Siglo Veintiuno: Mexico.Google Scholar
  54. Tripp, R., 1988.Farmer Participation in Agricultural Research: New Directions of Old Problems. Draft Discussion Paper, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.Google Scholar
  55. Turner, B. L. and S. B. Brush (eds), 1987.Comparative Farming Systems. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  56. Warren, D. M., 1989. “The impact of nineteenth century social science in establishing negative values and attitudes toward indigenous knowledge systems,” in D. M. Warrenet al. (eds),Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Implications for Agriculture and International Development. Studies in Technology and Social Change, No. 11, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.Google Scholar
  57. Warren, D. M., L. J. Slikkerveer, and S. O. Titilola (eds), 1989.Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Implications for Agriculture and International Development, Studies in Technology and Social Change, No. 11, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.Google Scholar
  58. Wilken, G. C., 1977. “Intergrating forest and small scale farm systems in Middle America,”Forest, Ecology and Management. Vol 1, 1, Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  59. For further references: Refer to the bibliography and chapters within Chambers, R. A. Pacey, and L. A. Thrupp (eds). 1989.Farmer First. London and New York: Intermediate Technology Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori Ann Thrupp

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations