Open Access Journal of Agricultural Research (OAJAR)

ISSN: 2474-8846

Research Article

Exploring Socio-Cultural Hybridity and the Role of Indigenous Postharvest Practices in Northern Uganda: The Case of Kwania and Kole Districts

Authors: Talleh Nkobou A* and Omara F

DOI: 10.23880/oajar-16000320


Background: There is growing recognition that addressing food and nutrition (in)security requires an acknowledgement of the plurality of knowledge systems, including indigenous management practices. This paper relies on quantitative research strategies to explore 'socio-cultural hybridity' as a bridge between low levels of 'modern' technology adoption and the loss of indigenous postharvest management practices. The results presented here partly informed a more participatory project on indigenous knowledge in Northern Uganda, and has wider implications for interventions towards postharvest food loss and waste in rural communities globally. Data was collected in Uganda’s Kwania and Kole Districts between June and July 2022 (n=213). We uniquely calculate reliance levels on post-harvest management practices using ordinal data. Results: Although sex does not significantly impact reliance on indigenous knowledge and practices (IK_Score), the coefficient of the sex variable shows that men have an IK_Score 0.87 units lower than women, explained by the skewness of access to education (p= 0.044) towards men. Secondary and tertiary educated participants had a lower IK_Score than those without formal education. Additionally, age was statistically significant on the IK_Score. Participants above 70 (p=0.01E-6) have an IK_Score 24.1 units higher than those aged between 19-35. Tertiary/university-level education has a significant impact (p=7.50E-6) reliance on modern technology (MT_Score). The importance of 'social situatedness' e.g., belonging to farmers group, is essential for 'cultural mixing' and explains the importance of social variables on adopting modern technology. Participants who belong to farmers groups (p=0.034) had a higher MT_Score. Although income was not a statistically significant variable for the IK_Score, income was statistically significant for the MT_Score (p=1.2E-4), which ultimately affects cultural mixing. Conclusion: Modernisation variables, such as education and income, significantly impact smallholder farmers' willingness to change. Finally, social situatedness, such as belonging to farmer's groups positively impacts socio-cultural hybridity. If researchers, policymakers and practitioners continuously fail to account for local and indigenous knowledge systems, the actual agents of change in rural communities may be continuously side-lined in their efforts towards reducing postharvest losses. Identifying these socioeconomic factors provides opportunities to review approaches to reducing postharvest management practices in these rural settings.

Keywords: Socio-Cultural Hybridity; Postharvest Losses; Indigenous Knowledge; Food Security and Decolonial Approach

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