Local Knowledge: The Payoff

To ignore the rich but often fast disappearing body of local knowledge -- of which ethnoveterinary medicine is but one example -- is both scientifically indefensible and socioeconomically lamentable. The potential for wide-ranging payoffs has been proven. Briefly, the benefits of applying the lessons of local knowledge to development activities include the following:

  • Greater choice of effective technologies and practices that are realistically adoptable by more people

  • Increased production and/or profitability in livelihoods

  • New or expanded income-generating opportunities

  • Improved income, diet and well-being

  • Environmental bonuses

  • Lower environmental health risks

  • Savings to community and government budgets that may permit an increase in, and greater variety of, services for more people

  • Greater public confidence in and use of such knowledge

  • Renewed esteem of one's own knowledge and culture, stronger social structures and people's empowerment McCorkle, Constance. Back to the Future: Lessons from Ethnoveterinary R&D for Applying Local Knowledge to Contemporary Issues. Presented at The National Symposium on Indigenous Knowledge and Contemporary Social Issues, March 1994, Tampa, FL, USA.