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Documentation of Indigenous Technical Knowledge and their application in pest management in western mid hill of Nepal

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Dung manure in terrace farming


Indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) is distinctive, traditional and local knowledge prevailing within and developed around specific communities indigenous to a particular area. ITK is sustainable as it has evolved after many years of observation and experience. Traditional farm practices are farmers friendly, climate resilient and uses site – specific crop management. ITK uses local resources that are cost effective and environmental compatible

Study area and design

The survey was carried out in Tanahun, Lamjung and Kaski district of Nepal. Twenty-five respondents from each communities of Magar, Gurung and Newar were selected on the basis of random sampling. Seventy – five respondents were interviewed with a semi structured and open – ended questionnaire between November 2019 to January 2020.

Documentation and statistical analysis

Focus group discussion (FGD), transect walks, observation and key informant interview were qualitative research methods. Secondary data were collected reviewing publications, journals, books and local information

Result and discussion

About 82% of the respondents received knowledge on ITK from their past generations, 12% of respondents received knowledge from other imitation of their neighbors, community leaders, extension agencies while 6% from studies, journals, newspapers and articles. Use of ITK was found to be 85% in subsistence farmers, 60% in semi commercial farmers and 10% among commercial farmers.

Naharki, K., & Jaishi, M. (2020)

ITK used by the indigenous communities of western mid hill of Nepal are:

1. Drying of harvested products like maize cobs hanging in cluster called ‘Suli’ and ‘Thangra’. Keeping maize on the top floor facilitate drying of seeds with kitchen heat. It reduced moisture content and susceptibility of storage insect pest.

2. Dusting of ash to control aphids and ants in potato field. Ash discourages surface feeding insects.

3. Field burning to kill insects or their eggs. It reduces the requirement of pesticides and fertilizers.

4. Foliar spray of cow urine acts as pest repellant. It is used in rice field damaged with snails and slugs as they have molluscicidal effect.

5. Alternate drying and wetting of rice field for few days controls against case worm and leaf folder. The grounded pulp of ‘Khirro’ leaf is used in irrigation channel to control rice stem borer.

6. Trap crops are used in borders as attractants and repellents to protect the main crop. Mustard on border of wheat field, coriander on border of Cole, marigold plants on border of vegetables are planted as trap crops.

7. Seed covered in cow dung before plantation acts as protector. Cow dung extract @2% concentration is effective against ear head bug, leaf folder, stem borer, caterpillars and other chewers in rice.

8. Flooding in rice field suppress weeds. Slicing of bunds and terrace raisers, mixed cropping and inter cropping increase weed control efficiency.

9. Local plants like titepati, banmara, neem and asuro are used in pest management in indigenous communities.

Following table shows the locally available botanical plants used for insect control in the study area.

Local NameCommon NameScientific NameInsects Controlled
AsuroMalabar NutAdhatoda vasicaGrasshopper, Scale insects, Stored pest, Rice pest
BakainoChina CherryMelia azedarachArmy worm, Mustard saw-fly, Tobacco caterpillar
BanmaraWild SageLantana camaraCorn weevil, Beetle
BojhoSweet FlagAcorus calamusAnts, Maize weevil
GandeBilly Goat WeedAegeratum conizoidesDiamond back moth, Stored grain pest
KhirroMilk TreeSapium insigneStem borer
NimNeemAzadirachta indicaRice pest, Diamond back moth, Stored grain pests including weevil and grain moth
SayapatriMarigoldTogetes erectaRice green leafhopper, Brown plant hopper, Diamond back moth, Aphid
TitepatiMugwortArtemisia vulgarisCorn borer, Leaf mines and galls controls
TulsiSweet BasilOcimum basilicumRice pest, Beetles, Fruit flies
locally available botanical plants used for insect control in the study area.

Constraints in ITK documentation

The knowledge of ITK is accumulated, improved and preserved through personal experience of farmers. They lack scientific validation and detail documentation. They are in threat of extinction due to lacking in corporation in agricultural research and development by researcher and extension worker.


Indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) are valuable traditional skills and tools of the indigenous communities. ITK based practices are used by majority of the subsistence and semi commercial farming community without the knowledge of its scientific rationality. Proper documentation and scientific validation is necessary to apply them in pest management for their future.

Reference to original paper

Naharki, K., & Jaishi, M. (2020). Documentation of Indigenous Technical Knowledge and Their Application in Pest Management in Western Mid Hill of Nepal. SAARC Journal of Agriculture18(1), 251-261. https://doi.o rg/10.3329/sja.v18i1.48397

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Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala is Jennifer Headley Memorial Scholar at WWF, Nepal. She is now pursuing Bachelor in Agriculture in Lamjung. Getting surrounded by creative minds and bringing out the innovations to solve problems aspires her to grow every day.

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