Indigenous knowledge, food production and food security in rural Khambashe in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Garutsa, Tendayi C.
Nekhwevha, Fhulu H.
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In the then Ciskei, the apartheid policy of separate development introduced a decentralised industrialisation system. This strategy promoted the establishment of firms and factories in the Bantustans and Homelands (i.e., reserved black areas outside of the then so-called white South Africa). The strategy was backed up by subsidies from the National Party led- apartheid government, helping to create employment in rural areas. However, with the advent of democracy in 1994, the apartheid government subsidy system was terminated as part of the broader processes of reconstruction and development, as well as redress of the past inequities. This resulted in rapid deindustrialisation and the high unemployment as factories that depended on the government subsidies closed, and jobs were lost. This article is based on research conducted amongst households in the Khambashe village, located in the former Ciskei Bantustan area, and sought to understand how they responded to the challenges of unemployment and poverty due to deindustrialisation. Specifically, the paper seeks to understand the role, if any, of indigenous knowledge in food production and food security. A mixed methods approach comprised unstructured face-to-face interviews, and a survey questionnaire was used to gather data on indigenous knowledge and its role in food production processes and food security. Results were analysed through thematic analysis and SPSS. The findings suggest that women are mostly responsible for using indigenous techniques in food production activities such as planting, hoeing, weeding, harvesting, and food processing and preservation as well as soil conservation. Both men and young people are minimally involved
- Faculty of Health Sciences