Indigenous knowledge and perceptions of pastoral communities (ELDIS)

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The role of indigenous knowledge and perceptions of pastoral communities on traditional grazing management in north-western Tanzania

Traditional forage conservation, locally known as “ngitili”, which involves retaining an area of standing vegetation from the beginning of rainy season and opening it up for grazing at the peak of dry season, has become an important strategy for rangeland rehabilitation in the north-western semi-arid part of Tanzania. The present study assessed the current rangeland management practices, the role of indigenous knowledge on ngitili conservation and perceptions of agropastoralists on communal resources management.

Data were collected from a total of 10 villages of Shinyanga rural and Meatu district. Interviewed agro-pastoralists claimed that, unequal sharing of benefits accrued from communal resources and poor management of communal ngitili lead to the preference of private ngitili to communal ones. The contribution of indigenous knowledge of Sukuma people lead to the success of ngitili conservation. However, the sustainability of this vital local knowledge is questionable.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.