Indigenous Agriculture and the Politics of Knowledge

A. Keleman-Saxena, Samara Brock, Luisa Cortesi, Chris Hebdon, A. Johnson, F. Ludlow, Michael R. Dove

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter provides a brief background on how political currents have historically been reflected in the development of agricultural technologies, and demonstrates the political aspects of the recognition, valuation and implementation of indigenous knowledge (IK). Case studies from Ecuador, India, Indonesia and Ireland are used to explore how political power permeates agricultural practices and technology, notably how the powerful use labelling of knowledge as either indigenous or modern as a tactic to reinforce and legitimize their dominance, recognizing certain practices and innovations above others. It is argued that to optimize the contributions of natural resource IK and associated management skills, it is necessary to acknowledge their political dimensions and set them within wider cultural context to promote the inclusion of people's values and aspirations in any development interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndigenous Knowledge
Subtitle of host publicationenhancing its contribution to natural resources management
EditorsPaul Sillitoe
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78064-707-4, 978-1-78064-811-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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