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By: Jim Patewa

Indigenous Knowledge on Traditional Upland Rice Farming in Sierra Leone

Pages: 140 Ratings:
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“Learning can be acquired by reading books, but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading men, and studying all the various facets of them.” (Phillip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield).

Indigenous Knowledge in Traditional Upland Rice Farming is a result of living and studying the rice farmers in the southern region of Sierra Leone, West Africa, over years of extension and rural development work. It is a result of years of effort trying to unearth how farmers generate and share information from their knowledge which remained unknown to professionals who attempt intervention projects aimed at addressing the constraints the farmers faced.

These ventures often fail to get the desired results with a waste of time and resources due to the lack of knowledge and understanding on the underpinning knowledge in a system they want to correct. It gives an insight into this farming system in a way that can be applicable to other farming systems in the country and elsewhere around the world. Fortunately, the information collected into this book was done before the rebel war in Sierra Leone, which claimed the lives of the majority of the seasoned and knowledgeable farmers. There is currently a drive by the government of Sierra Leone to encourage entrepreneurship in agribusiness around the country to improve agriculture and food production, in order to alleviate the problem of food shortages in the country.

This book offers an opportunity for those with the capital to grasp the fundamental principles underlying the practices in the farming system, the major source of food production in the country, as an insurance for their capital investments. This book can be translated into the local languages for the adult education of young farmers in the country who have not had the opportunity to have learned from their parents and older farmers through the method of oral traditional learning, as a result of the decade of rebel war which may have claimed their lives.

Jim Patewa was born in Yengema, in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. He attended the United Methodist Primary School, New Site, Bo, Sierra Leone, before completing his secondary school education at the Christ The King College, Bo. Jim completed his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture General at the Njala University College, Sierra Leone, in 1983. After his university education, Jim taught mathematics at the Centenary Secondary School Bo and the Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood Secondary School in Mile 91, north of the country.

In 1987/88, Jim worked as an agricultural officer in the Bonthe District for the National Association of Farmers of Sierra Leone. In 1988 Jim joined the Sierra Leone Church/Commission on Churches in Development (SLC/CCD), an agricultural extension rural development programme in the Pujehun District, as an agricultural extension officer/counterpart programme manager.

From 1989 to 1991, Jim served as manager, SLC/CCD programme. He was also a facilitator, for the National Development Education and Leadership Training programme (DELTA).

From 1991 to 1993, he served as a counterpart Agricultural Advisor to the development office of the Bo Anglican Diocese. In 1993, Jim completed an MSc in agricultural extension at the University of Reading, UK.

In 1996, he started a doctorate programme at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, on the topic: “How women can contribute to the post-war rehabilitation and development of their rural communities in Sierra Leone using the concept of social capital”, which he couldn’t complete owing to circumstantial constraints. In 2004, Jim completed a Diploma/MSc in social work at the University of Reading. In 2008, he completed a Diploma in Higher Practice Education in social work at the University of Reading, UK.

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