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What is local knowledge?

Gender and Development Service

UN Food and Agriculture Organization

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  • local knowledge
Target Group
  • Youth,
  • Teachers,
  • Students,
  • Policy makers,
  • Entrepreneurs
  • English
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This short article provides a short overview of local knowledge, demonstrating that all communities possess local knowledge - rural and urban, settled and nomadic, original inhabitants and migrants.

Although focused on local knowledge of farmers and rural communities, this short text outlines the main dilemmas of local knowledge:

  • Local knowledge is universal
  • Local knowledge is dynamic
  • Local knowledge of women, the poor and other marginalized groups is often overlooked and ignored
  • Local knowledge is made up of common knowledge, shared knowledge and specialized knowledge

Local knowledge is defined as ‘a collection of facts and relates to the entire system of concepts, beliefs and perceptions that people hold about the world around them.’