Assessing the Role of Indigenous Knowledge in Seed Preservation Case Study: Ajia Sub-County, Arua District.
Author: Ababo Stephen
Supervisor: John Pius Masereka
The research study was conducted to assess the role of indigenous knowledge (IK) in seed preservation. The study focused on three specific objectives: to identify indigenous crop varieties grown by farmers; to identify indigenous seed preservation practices employed by farmers and to establish the effectiveness of indigenous seed preservation practices.
The literature review attempted to bring out other searches by other researchers which were directly or generally related to the present study and was based on the variables studied by the researcher.
The researcher employed survey method for this research study. The research used both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The study targeted a sample size of 84 people, (N=84) and 2 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) consisting of 10 men and 10 women including elders. The researcher employed simple random sampling and purposive sampling. Data collection methods and instruments used include: questionnaires, Focus Group Discussions, observation and photography. The data collected was coded and analyzed and the results presented inform of percentages, tables, bar charts and pie charts which were then used to generate meaningful information for discussions in chapters four and five of the study. However, the researcher tried to ensure that the selected methods were reliable and maintained validity throughout the different approaches.
The research finding revealed that a significant percentage of respondents rely on indigenous crop varieties like cassava (27.2%), pigeon peas (22.5%), sorghum (17.7%), groundnuts (14.7%) and millet (9.9%), among others for their seed security and food sovereignty. This has put the respondents (smallholder farmers) who produce, distribute and consume food at the center of decisions on food systems rather than the demands of markets and corporations that have to dominate the global food systems. Furthermore, the study revealed that respondents employ indigenous seed preservation practices to preserve their seeds at household level.
The researcher also found that traditionally, respondents save and store seeds for two purposes: consumption and cultivation. It was therefore evident that the respondents from the study area accepted indigenous seed preservation practices for preserving their own seeds. Finally, the research revealed that indigenous methods of seed treatment were very cost-effective and preferred in preserving seeds compared to modern seed treatment methods in Ajia Sub-county, Arua District, Uganda.
The research revealed that the respondents still rely on indigenous crop varieties for their seed security and employ indigenous seed preservation practices for preserving their seeds. However, the researcher recommends that community-based indigenous seed production and/or community seed banks be promoted which will enhance seed security and food sovereignty. Participatory indigenous seed storage research should also be promoted by involving smallholder farmers. Proper storage of indigenous seed germplasm is an essential step for the long-term conservation of plant genetic resources in the Sub-county.