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A knowledge management system for indigenous crops production: case of sorghum farming in south Tharaka, Kenya

Robert Oboko John Kimani Macire Kante Christopher Chepken Ruth Wario Rebecca N. Kiai

*Corresponding author: Macire Kante niamemacire@yahoo.fr

agriculture2016,4,439doi:10.3934/agrfood.2016.4.439

Recent researches have shown that a food security strategy that dependent entirely on exotic crops, which are greatly affected by sporadic rainfall, is not sustainable. There is a need to shift to indigenous crops that are more tolerant to unpredictable weather patterns. Little shareable knowledge exists on the production of these crops; the production knowledge is passed by word of mouth and demonstration across generations, and sometimes lost in the process. This research seeks to show how this gap can be addressed using a knowledge management system (KMS). One of the key factors that distinguishes the intelligent production process of the 21st century is the emphasis on data, information and ultimately knowledge. The importance of KMS in agriculture cannot be over emphasized. This research started with an exploratory pre-study to identify the key functionality that needed to be captured by the KMS. The pre-study brought to the fore the need for the use of technology information in improving the sorghum production process. Three key themes emerged from the pre-study, namely identification of best practices, convenient way of disseminating information to stakeholders, and finally enhancement of research processes through use of information technology. These functional needs formed the basis for the development of the KMS. Further works can be undertaken to expand the solution to include more weather tolerant crops patterns, in order to provide a wider crops option to smallholder farmers.

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