Cover Image
close this bookRecording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)
close this folderPart 1 Indigenous knowledge and development
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentHow the manual was compiled
View the documentHow to use the manual
View the documentWhat is indigenous knowledge?
View the documentWho knows what?
View the documentCharacteristics of local systems
View the documentWhy is indigenous knowledge useful?
View the documentHelping communities conserve their IK
View the documentUsing indigenous knowledge in development
View the documentRecording IK in communities
View the documentIntellectual property rights
close this folderPart 2 Recording and assessment methodologies
close this folderRecording methods
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSources and documentation of IK
close this folderSample selection
View the documentHow to draw a sample
View the documentIdentifying indigenous specialists
close this folderObservation and interviewing
View the documentCase studies
View the documentField observation
View the documentIn-depth interviews
View the documentInterviewing
View the documentParticipant observation
View the documentParticipative technology analysis
View the documentSurveys
close this folderWorking with groups
View the documentBrainstorming
View the documentFive questions
View the documentGames
View the documentGroup discussions
View the documentRole play
View the documentStrengths and weaknesses
View the documentSWOT analysis
View the documentVillage reflections
View the documentVillage workshop
close this folderUsing diagram
View the documentFlow chart
View the documentHistorical comparison
View the documentIllustrations and diagrams
View the documentMapping
View the documentMatrix
View the documentModeling bioresource flows
View the documentSeasonal Pattern chart
View the documentSorting and ranking
View the documentTaxonomies
View the documentTransect
View the documentVenn (or chapti) diagramming
View the documentWebbing
close this folderAudio-visual media
View the documentCassette documentation
View the documentParticipatory video
View the documentPhoto/slide documentation
close this folderPart 3 Assessment of indigenous knowledge
View the documentAssessing IK
View the documentCriteria for assessing IK
View the documentTapping assessment
View the documentUsing western science methods to assess IK
View the documentMonitoring and evaluation
close this folderPart 4 Mini-case studies - How development can build on IK
View the documentMini-case studies
View the documentProblem identification and prioritization in Kiko Rosa, Philippines
View the documentCommunity manged health in Pinagsanjaan, Philippines
View the documentIncorporation of local free species in an agroforestry project in Layong Mabilog Philippines
View the documentLocal vegetable varieties for home gardening programs
View the documentTraditional animal dispersal schemes in Cavite, Philippines
View the documentIncreasing food Production in Negros, Philippines
View the documentOvercoming labor shortages through indigenous mutual-help groups
View the documentPromoting the use of IK in Venezuela
View the documentFarmers' experiments in teak germination in Sri Lanka
View the documentPromoting an indigenous savings scheme in Ethiopia
close this folderPart 5 - Question guides
View the documentQuestion guides
View the documentGender and indigenous knowledge
View the documentFarmer-to-farmer extension and farmer experimentation
View the documentSoil fertility
View the documentCropping systems
View the documentGardening
View the documentAgroforestry
View the documentWatershed management
View the documentEnvironment, natural resources. and biodiversity
View the documentCoastal resource s management
View the documentAquaculture
View the documentAnimal husbandry and healthcare
View the documentFood and nutrition
View the documentReproductive health and family planning
View the documentWater and sanitation
View the documentHealth financing schemes
View the documentHealthcare systems
View the documentOccupational health
View the documentOrganizations and leadership
View the documentCredit and savings
View the documentEnterprise development
View the documentCommunication
close this folderPart 6 - Resources
View the documentAbbreviations and definitions
View the documentReferences
View the documentAddresses
View the documentProject staff and contributors

Local vegetable varieties for home gardening programs

Local vegetable varieties can produce stable yields, have high nutritional value, and tolerate extremes such as drought. They can be used not only for food but also for medicine, fodder, fertilizer, fiber, and fuel. Plant breeders look to them for valuable traits. And, since local varieties resist disease and pests, farmers can reduce or even eliminate their need for environmentally harmful pesticides and fertilizers.

IIRR encourages the use of traditional varieties. They benefit small rural and urban gardeners while preserving valuable genetic material.

IIRR home gardening programs start with an inventory of vegetables indigenous to the program area. Sometimes, seeds are collected from promising indigenous varieties in remote areas. They are then assessed and promising accessions are propagated and distributed.

Community members, particularly elders, are asked about the characteristics of their area's indigenous vegetables—growth patterns, tolerance to extreme conditions, pest and disease resistance, palatability, and food preparation. An IIRR worker tours the project area with community members to help ensure that ail indigenous vegetables, including those not commonly eaten, are identified.

Seed retrieval in remote areas focuses on varieties which are becoming rare. With the help of some knowledgeable community members, seeds and important information about the plants are collected.

In the Philippine provinces of Cavite and Negros Occidental, traditional varieties introduced from other provinces have adapted very well. Information gathered from people at the sites of seed retrieval helped maximize the potential of the introduced plants. For example, the people in Negros used to eat only the root of cassava (Manihot ecculenta), until it was learned on visits to other provinces that cassava leaves can also be eaten. This information was transferred during training and farmer meetings. cassava leaves, which are more nutritious than the root, are gaining popularity in Negros.


In Ethiopia and Kenya, vegetables which are abundant but no longer commonly eaten, have been repopularized as a result of an IIRR intervention which has focused on indigenous knowledge. Elders were interviewed regarding local plant varieties. They identified, among others, amaranth (Amaranthus gracilis), spider plant (Gynandrapsis gynandra), and nightshade (Solanum nigrum) as plants which had, over time, dropped from the local diet. IIRR staff encouraged their use through hands-on training, appreciation session and farmer meetings. Now these plants are again grown in home gardens.


Compiled by Normita G. Ignacio