Why we Should Embrace Indigeneous Practices, Seeds and Food.

Gender Inclusiveness
While addressing issues of gender inequality and women empowerment, government needs to increase its focus on Indigenous knowledge and practices. These are sensitive of the gender differences and roles that exist in society that only if well guided and emphasized it will create a win-win situation for men and women. The fact that women and children form the biggest percentage of agricultural labor force and are the biggest custodians of Indigenous Knowledge, therefore it is believed if the Government promotes and builds on the indigenous foods, practices and knowledge it will strengthen the status of women in communities and uplift livelihoods of households through increased incomes.

When considering the monetary costs incurred in the production process, Indigenous foods are more cost friendly to small scale farmers. This is simply because of the accessibility of major inputs such as seeds, use of agronomic practices that can not apply to other forms of knowledge and practice say hybrids which are more demanding for a small scale farmer to afford.

Nutrition Nutritional and health benefits of Indigenous foods
Traditionally grown foods and knowledge are well known for their nutrition value and medicinal benefits as different studies and farmer sharing have attributed healthy and stronger lives to individuals that depend on these foods and practices. Previously this was the known form of treatment for most people in rural household though it is slowly reducing with most people now struggling to access other forms of foods and treatment that come with big constrains.

Resilience to climatic changes and eco-system conservation
The role played by indigenous knowledge and practices in promoting agro ecology and sustaining diverse ecosystems cannot be under estimated. The various practices are well known for their nutritional value not only to humans but also to the environment itself this simply because the practices are eco-friendly unlike the inorganic products that add foreign particles to the soil and the environment. Promoting indigenous and traditional foods, knowledge and practices in climate forecasts works well as it helps farmers to adapt to climate change and its variability as indigenous knowledge is put into practice. (ESAFF Study, 2015)

By Adrine Atwiine