- Agriculture, knowledge related to crop selection, intercropping, planting times.
- Animal husbandry and ethnic veterinary medicine, knowledge of breeding strategies, livestock characteristics and requirements, plant uses to treat common illnesses.
- Use and management of natural resources, knowledge of soil fertility management, sustainable management of wild species.
- Health care, knowledge of plant properties for medicinal purposes.
- Community development, common or shared knowledge provides links between community members and generations; and
- Poverty alleviation, knowledge of survival strategies based on local resources.
- Source for all bullet points above: http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5610e/y5610e02.htm
"Higher yielding sorghum varieties were introduced into Ethiopia to increase food security and income for farmers and rural communities. When weather and other conditions were favourable, the modern varieties proved a success. However, in some areas complete crop failures were observed, whereas local varieties, with a higher variance of traits, were less susceptible to the frequent droughts. The farming community considered the loss of an entire crop to be more than offset by the lower, average yields of the local variety that performed under more extreme conditions. An approach, that included local farming experience, could have resulted in a balanced mix of local and introduced varieties, thus reducing the producers’ risk." (Source: http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5610e/y5610e02.htm)