|Recording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)|
|Part 4 Mini-case studies - How development can build on IK|
In 1984, when global sugar prices plummeted, more than a quarter of a million people in Negros Occidental, Philippines, lost their jobs. Hunger and malnutrition spread. At the depth of the crisis the provincial government and the United Nations Children's Fund asked IIRR to help. IIRR and local organizations responded in 1986 with an intensive program to teach thousands of rural families to grow their own food through big-intensive gardening. In 1990 the project was expanded to include livestock production, sea farming, and pond fish production.
The project built on IK in three ways:
1 Its technology development end dissemination approach encouraged participation and indigenous experimentation. Farmers adapted IIRR's big-intensive gardening models to fit available labor, resources, and the environment. For example:
- They modified the double-digging bed preparation method 50 that it became lees labor intensive.
- They used old bottles, bamboo, and other locally available materials as enclosures for plant beds, instead of banana or coconut trunks as suggested by the project.
- One farmer developed a method which eased the task of crushing shells for fertilizer.
2 The project promoted indigenous vegetables and fruits through collection and distribution of seeds of indigenous species.
3 Project staff valued the indigenous practices. At first, staff advised cooperators to grow mussels using the bamboo "wigwam" method common in southern Luzon. After a typhoon washed away many of the wigwams. cooperators noticed that a neighbor's mussel poles were not heavily damaged. They found that the traditional method he used was better suited to the area's sandy sea bottom. Following the 'read of their experienced neighbor, cooperators split their bamboo poles in half, making them less buoyant and less apt to wash away in storms. And by splitting the poles, cooperators were able to increase the size of their plots using the same amount of materials.
Compiled by Laurito B. Arizala, Rustico A. Bi and Evelyn Mathias