Assessment of Major Environmental Constraints of Riverside Cultivation in Omdurman (Sudan) by Use of Local Knowledge
The use of local knowledge, particularly in dealing with environmental issues, has gained increasing attention in recent decades because of the growing scientific consensus on the value and credibility of this knowledge in environmental management and strategic planning. The aim of this study was to use farmer’s knowledge to identify the major environmental constraints that impede the indigenous riverside farming in Omdurman and to assess to what extent such knowledge is applied to mitigate the severity of those constraints. Structured interviews were performed with 25 farmers in the study area. The results showed that local farmers have good knowledge about the predominant environmental constraints that hinder their crop production, and this knowledge has helped them to alleviate these constraints, but despite the importance of this knowledge in making this type of agricultural practice sustainable for several decades, it has not been incorporated effectively in management and strategic planning. The results also showed a growing tendency towards modern technology, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides, but this trend has not been accompanied by a proper scientific guidance and if it continues with the same manner it will inevitably result in many health and environmental risks in the near future. The study concludes by recommending that indigenous knowledge and practices are useful, must be integrated with contemporary research agenda, also the adoption of modern technology must be accompanied by an appropriate scientific enlightenment with its negative consequences.
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