Understanding and preserving Indigenous agricultural knowledge: A suggested way forward for future research

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Purpose – Indigenous farmers have, for centuries, applied practices which maintained resilient and sustainable landscapes. Thus, understanding and preserving the agricultural knowledge of Indigenous farmers may enhance the knowledge base of sustainable agriculture. The purpose of this paper is to review current research in the fields of Indigenous knowledge and sustainability to present a research approach which enables a cohesive global way forward for future research projects seeking to understand and preserve Indigenous agricultural knowledge.
Design/methodology/approach – This study applied thematic analysis to review 57 research studies in the field of Indigenous knowledge and sustainability. Key themes were identified from four overarching criteria: research methodology, data input, output and outcomes.
Findings – The findings revealed a range of commonalities among the 57 research studies reviewed. This study proposes the research should continue to seek to understand and preserve Indigenous knowledge, however, research needs to go beyond simply documenting Indigenous knowledge. The way forward requires research of Indigenous agricultural knowledge to establish databases, digital repositories (including oral, video, visual) and online repositories with globally shared access, whilst acknowledging and acting inpartnership with Indigenous farmers and their communities.
Originality/value – To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is an original study which has practical implications for enhancing research outcomes with regard to preservation of Indigenous knowledge. The findings of this study may be used to influence research policy formulation and implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalGlobal Knowledge, Memory and Communication
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2022


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