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Understanding indigenous knowledge: Bridging the knowledge gap through a knowledge creation model for agricultural development

Edda T. Lwoga, Patrick Ngulube, Christine Stilwell

SA Journal of Information Management; Vol 12, No 1 (2010), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/sajim.v12i1.436

Submitted: 12 June 2010
Published:  08 December 2010


This article addresses the management of agricultural indigenous knowledge (IK) in developing countries, with a specific focus on Tanzania. It provides background details on IK and its importance for agricultural development. It introduces various knowledge management (KM) concepts and discusses their application in managing IK in the developing world by placing Nonaka’s knowledge creation theory (Nonaka 1991; Nonaka & Takeuchi 1995; Nonaka, Toyama & Konno 2000) in the context of the local communities. Data from focus groups were used to triangulate with data from interviews in order to validate, confirm and corroborate quantitative results with qualitative findings. The study findings showed that knowledge creation theory can be used to manage IK in the local communities, however, adequate and appropriate resources need to be allocated for capturing and preserving IK before it disappears altogether. For sustainable agricultural development, the communities have to be placed within a knowledge-creating setting that continuously creates, distributes and shares knowledge within and beyond the communities’ boundaries and integrates it with new agricultural technologies, innovations and knowledge.

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Author affiliations

Edda T. Lwoga, Sokoine National Agricultural Library, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, United Republic Of
Patrick Ngulube, University of South Africa, South Africa
Christine Stilwell, Information Studies Programme, School of Sociology and Social Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


indigenous knowledge; knowledge creation; knowledge management; agriculture; Tanzania


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ISSN: 2078-1865 (print) | ISSN: 1560-683X (online)

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