Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Agricultural Information and Indigenous Knowledge in Peasant Economy

Mariam, Yohannes and Galaty, John (1993): Agricultural Information and Indigenous Knowledge in Peasant Economy.

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Abstract

Agricultural information and indigenous knowledge were examined among peasants of the central Ethiopian highlands. Measures of central tendency, logical explanation, descriptive analysis, problem solving tests, scoring and logit analysis were performed.

The findings indicate that information from extension agents tends to favour peasant associations or farmers that are closer to cities, service cooperatives, politicians and extension agents. Despite variations in the sources and access to information, the extent to which information is subjected to conscious processing determines its value to decision-makers. Furthermore, the value of information is greatly influenced by indigenous knowledge or social experience and schooling.

Farmers who are beneficiaries of projects and friends with politicians received higher scores on production problems compared to the control group. Production knowledge is found to be locale-specific and varies by age. Production knowledge is greatly influenced by experience, index of awareness, proximity to infrastructural facilities and sources of information. The findings also indicate that education enables households to relate production problems to experience and outside information. Development strategies could facilitate the attainment of food self-sufficiency if the contents and delivery mechanisms of agricultural information are equitable, and indigenous production knowledge of peasants is integrated with secular and extension education.

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