ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN ACHIEVING FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION IN GARISSA COUNTY, KENYA

Fatha Abdirahman, Irura Nganga, Elaine Chepkoskei

Abstract


Food is a primary need that is basic to all human needs and a fundamental human right (Maxwell, 2001; Ingram, 2011). Improved food security is vital in the alleviation of poverty, promotion of people’s health and labor productivity, contributes to the political stability of a country and ensures sustainable development of citizens (FAO, 2011). Food and nutrition security are achieved when adequate food is available, accessed and satisfactorily utilized by all individuals at all times to live a healthy and happy life. Nutrition security goes beyond food security by considering adequate access to essential nutrients, not just calories. Nutritional security means guaranteed constant adequate dietary intake that helps the body to resist and recover from disease. Food insecurity leads to severe health problems for individuals and to the society including malnutrition, obesity, disease and poverty (Hammond & Dube, 2011). Indigenous knowledge refers to the knowledge and know-how unique to a given society or culture which encompasses “the cultural traditions, values, beliefs and worldviews of local people” (UNESCO, 2016). The fundamental differences between indigenous and scientific knowledge paradigms are characterized by an old African proverb which states "when a knowledgeable old person dies, a whole library disappears" (Naanyu, 2013). The study explored the role of indigenous knowledge in achieving food security and nutrition in Garissa county whose major economic is livestock keeping. The study found out that in the dry season when resources are rare; the pastoralist manage their herd composition in regard to age and sex to preserve herd viability; and splitting up herds during wet and dry season, milk preservation is through gourds cleaning, drying and disinfecting for long-term, milk preservation is via spontaneous fermentation or back slopping and drying remain to be the most use approach for raw cereal grains, supported by the addition of ash, minerals or activated charcoal to absorb moisture and oxygen. The study concludes that despite the rich practices, indigenous knowledge is marginalized in favor of high-tech modern knowledge. The agro-pastoralist have no clearly defined channels through which they can share their lived indigenous knowledge, experiences and practice and it is rational and easy for pastoralist to practice indigenous methods of control of pests and diseases learnt over generations. The study recommends that documentation of indigenous knowledge from aging experts for future references, repackage indigenous knowledge towards food security and sustainable pastoral production in communal ranches.

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Keywords


food, food security, knowledge management, indigenous knowledge, nutrition security

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v7i11.3338

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