Fatha Abdirahman, Irura Nganga, Elaine Chepkoskei


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.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


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

Full Text:



FAO (2007). The Challenge of Renewal: Report of the Independent External Evaluation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2007).

FAO (2008). Report of the Review of the Pilot Phase of FAO on Thematic Knowledge Networks, KCE (May 2008).

FAO (2008). Working Paper 2: Review of Knowledge Management Strategies of Other Development Organizations, KCE (December 2008)

FAO (2008). Working Paper 3: Issues Related to Information and Knowledge as an FAO Core Function in FAO’s Programme Management, KCE (October 2008).

FAO (2009). Working Paper 4: FAO Information and Knowledge Strategy Framework and Principles, KCE (January 2009).

FAO (2009). Working Paper 5: How Information and Knowledge Add Value through FAO’s Programmes and Partnerships, KCE (June 2009).

FAO (2009). Working Paper 6: Continuous Improvement through Knowledge Sharing and Learning, KCE (June 2009).

FAO (2009). Working Paper 8: Roadmap for Implementation, KCE (June, 2009).

Garissa County Smart Nutrition Survey Report July 2017, Mercy-USA, Ministry of Health, Garissa.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, (2015). Garissa County Statistical Abstract.

Ministry of Health (2017). Garissa county smart nutrition survey report, July 2017 Ministry of Health, Garissa.

Oba, G. 2009. Harnessing pastoralists’ indigenous range management knowledge for drought- resilient livelihood systems in the Horn of Africa. Nairobi: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Google Scholar.

Quigley L., O’Sullivan O., Stanton C., Beresford T. P., Ross R. P., Fitzgerald G. F. & Cotter P. D. (2013). The complex microbiota of raw milk. FEMS Microbiol. Rev., 37, 664–698. doi:10.1111/1574-6976.12030.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Fatha Abdirahman, Irura Nganga, Elaine Chepkoskei

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2023. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).