Assessing the impact of indigenous knowledge systems on sustainable agriculture: a focus on sustainable agriculture in selected communities of the City of Tshwane Municipality
Indigenous Knowledge system (IKS) also referred to as traditional knowledge has been part of communities for a long period. This knowledge system ensures that the traditional methods of completing tasks and activities continue to be part of the communities. The IKS is mainly tacit, unique and it is drawn from practical experiences and also lessons learned. The IKS is a type of system that is entrenched in the culture of the community and it is geographically aligned. The usage of the IKS is seen in various fields like medicine, agriculture, linguistics, ecology, psychology, climate, and craft. It is also linked and related to survival and subsistence, and visible in the decision-making process in the field of food security. The problem that was investigated was focused on establishing the impact of the IKS on sustainable development with a focus on sustainable agriculture and how this also affects food security in communities of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (COT). The contextualisation of the IKS was established by consultation of related theories. The theoretical exploration was aimed at establishing an understanding of the concepts in the study and set out the focus on the research design and process. A mixed-methods research approach was used to further investigate the impact of the IKS on sustainable development, sustainable agriculture and food security. A qualitative semi-structured questionnaire was utilised as a part of the observation and interview process. The research was conducted in different communities within the COT municipality. In the study, the participants illustrated an understanding of the various knowledge systems and different agricultural practices available. The analysis of the IKS concept and related concepts (sustainable agriculture and food security) indicated that the combination of both the IKS agricultural methods and modern technology affords the agricultural practitioners the opportunity to enhance the yield of the crop and increase in production which enables the practitioners to meet the current food demand and ensure food security while using sustainable methods. Sharing the IKS and incorporating it with technology and modern agriculture can create a new dynamic, agricultural practice that will benefit both commercial farmers, community or primary farmers, and households with functional gardens. The results of the study further indicated the usage of indigenous farming methods and knowledge to be more prevalent in community-based farming rather than with commercial farmers who uses the practice minimally or combined with modern farming methods. The usage of the IKS requires more time and patience which for commercial farmers do not make business sense as they need to promote their crops and engage in agricultural marketing fast and effectively. Recommendations have been made at the end of the study which include an in-depth study on how to utilise the positive and functional attributes of the IKS into modern farming and commercial agricultural practices. The IKS should be shared with both individuals and the community at large to ensure successful and sustainable results.
- Humanities 
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