“Sa vosa na Vanua” - The Land Speaks. Indigenous Agriculture Knowledge (IAK) : the philosophy of life values and epistemology, and relationship to kumala production in Ra (2023)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherMacmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
Subsistence agriculture is the primary means of production for food for most I-Taukei or indigenous Fijian farmers. Indigenous Agriculture knowledge (IAK) is the local knowledge adopted by indigenous people largely dependent on traditional knowledge, common in the agricultural system to preserve the ecosystem, biodiversity, and maintain sustainable food and well-being. The purpose of this research was to build an understanding of how Indigenous Agricultural (or traditional) Knowledge (IK) can contribute to achieving Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Fijian farming systems, with a particular focus on its relevance to kumala (sweet potato - Ipomoea batatas) farming in Ra province in Fiji. The implementation of the Fijian Vanua Research Framework FVRF in this research has paid specific attention to indigenous Fijian society in an agricultural context aligned to future food security issues. This research sought a solidarity approach for the rural areas in Fiji, using their systems of knowledge and understandings as the basis for inquiry and investigation. This opens the possibilities of extending the knowledge base of indigenous people and transforming their understanding of the social-cultural world like solesolevaki, which is our current cultural currency. The findings of this research show the cultural role of kumala production in the traditional Fijian context, assessed under four components; values and beliefs, practices, skills, and knowledge. Indigenous Agriculture Knowledge (IAK) exists across all facets of the Fijian way of life, including health, spiritual beliefs, and environmental survival.
RightsCC BY 4.0
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