Exploring the role of feminine indigenous knowledge on seed selection, post-harvest handling and its contribution to household food security: a case of Skuta Ward 19 in Insiza District

Author: Siyafa, Ibongwe

Food security has become a more pronounced global problem in recent years with the threat posed by recent trends such as climate change, rainfall scarcity and recurrent droughts. This together with the size of the world’s growing population gives urgency for the revival and integration of indigenous knowledge systems in farming, particularly women’s local wisdom in seed selection, food processing and post-harvest handling among local communities of Skuta, ward 19. Women were identified as custodians of traditional scientific knowledge on seed selection, preservation and storage. Ash mixtures and smoke coating were the dominant preservatives used to preserve most seeds and grain crops for long term use. These traditional methods ensured that people had at least sufficient food, if not surplus until the next harvesting period. Gender roles were determined by location of activity, time needed, physical labor demanded, stereotypes and technology used. Agricultural modernization had negatively impact not only on the production of indigenous crops but also on the use of traditional methods of processing and preservation of grain crops. This study recommends a marriage of convenience between the two knowledge systems through both formal and informal institutions in ensuring sustained food security. Women must be included in agricultural research and food security interventions as resources of IKS