Journal of
Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Agric. Ext. Rural Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2170
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAERD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 455

Full Length Research Paper

The use of local knowledge in agricultural extension: A systematic review of the literature

Kirt Hainzer
  • Kirt Hainzer
  • Institute for Future Farming Systems, Central Queensland University, Bundaberg, Australia.
  • Google Scholar
Catherine O’Mullan
  • Catherine O’Mullan
  • Institute for Future Farming Systems, Central Queensland University, Bundaberg, Australia.
  • Google Scholar
Philip Hugh Brown
  • Philip Hugh Brown
  • Institute for Future Farming Systems, Central Queensland University, Bundaberg, Australia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 07 September 2021
  •  Accepted: 21 January 2022
  •  Published: 31 January 2022

Abstract

Smallholder farms are complex systems, constantly adapting to context and rely on local, place-based knowledges. The vital role of local knowledge in smallholder farming systems has seen attempts throughout low- and middle-income countries to entwine local knowledge with scientific knowledge to improve outcomes from agricultural extension. Using a systematic review and exploratory meta-synthesis of selected literature, this research explored the use of local knowledge in agricultural extension. The synthesis found local knowledge plays a vital role in the adoption of new technologies or practices because as the dominant form of knowledge in communities they give learners confidence and they provide a context upon which new information can be introduced. However, effective use of local knowledge requires a realistic perspective which recognises that some combination of local and scientific knowledge, developed in a participatory process, will likely result in extension delivering greater outcomes to farmers. 

Key words: Local knowledge, agricultural extension, smallholders.