This paper focuses on the contribution of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) on food security in Mbokomu ward. The main objective of this paper is to ascertain the use and application of IKS on food security and document methods used in food preservation. Various ethnic groups have different methods of preserving food and use it during the food shortage. Thus, people in Mbokomu ward used several methods in preserving food items and ensure food security throughout the year. The research used different methods in collecting information regarding the application of IKS on food security such as key informants interviews, focus group discussions and observations methods. Secondary information was collected to get familiarisation with the IKS while primary information was collected in the field to ascertain the role of IKS on food security. Purposive sampling technique was used to select community leaders and clan elders who had indepth knowledge of traditional practices used in preserving food crops. People have used traditional systems in preserving food items, drying on the sun, using medicinal plants, using fire and smoke. The findings showed that people have used different systems like hanging maize to dry on trees or hanging meat on the roof close to kitchen to dry slowly with fire or smoke and peeled bananas dried on the sun and kept in the house roof for many years without being damaged. The study recommends that, there is a need to document all IKS knowledge used in preserving food. The IKS is preserved in the elders’ memory, thus, serious effort and regulation must be made to document IKS before elders with IKS knowledge passed away or died.
Key words: Food security, Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), Chagga, food preservation.
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