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|Title:||TRADITIONAL AND WESTERN KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS IN SMALLHOLDER AGRICULTURE: HARNESSING SYNERGIES AND COMPLEMENTARITIES FOR IMPROVED HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY IN THE KASSENA NANKANA TRADITIONAL AREA, GHANA|
|Abstract:||The debate on integrating traditional and western knowledge systems remains a challenge in research and development practice. Some scholars and development practitioners have underscored the need for the two bodies of knowledge systems to work together to achieve sustainable agricultural development. However, what appears to be missing in the debate is how the two bodies of knowledge can be purposely integrated and the context in which integration can be successful. This study set out to investigate how socially differentiated smallholder farmers harness synergies and complementarities between traditional and western agricultural knowledge systems to improve household food security in northern Ghana. Using an exploratory sequential mixed method design, the study employed a threephased approach entailing the use of focus group discussions, surveys and in-depth interviews to engage study participants in the Kassena Nankana Traditional Area. The findings showed that social differentiation among smallholder farmers has considerable influence in shaping the choice of smallholder farming systems with high resourceendowed smallholder farmers predominantly in lowland and bush farmlands blending relatively high proportions of western farming technologies such as tractor ploughing, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers driven by profitability associated with market-oriented production. On the other hand, the study found that low resource-endowed farmers predominantly utilizing compound farmlands, where the bulk of household food crops are cultivated, rely extensively on traditional farming methods such as hand weeding with hoe, use of animal manure, and use of own recycled seeds stimulated by the desire to attain household food sustenance. However, the study noted that the manner of integrating the two bodies of knowledge is neither sufficient to induce sustainable agriculture nor bring about any notable changes to household food security. For effective synergy in addressing emerging challenges of smallholder agriculture, the study recommends that both public and private extension agents adopt an endogenous model to knowledge integration and processes that draws on synergies between traditional and western agricultural knowledge systems to facilitate smooth innovation diffusion for sustainable household food security. The study recommends that the National Agricultural Development Policy Framework should recognize traditional agricultural knowledge as a useful tool for sustainable rural agricultural development|
|Appears in Collections:||Faculty of Integrated Development Studies|
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