Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) have been defined as learned ways of knowing and looking at the world. Indigenous knowledge is capable of providing alternative methods of viewing and solving developmental problems, since the success of development efforts often depends on local participation. A descriptive study conducted in San Lázaro, State of Trujillo, Venezuela, explored factors that explain how familiarity with farmers’ traditional knowledge systems can enable extension educators and local people to work as partners in planning and implementing agricultural and sustainable development programs. The study was conducted using qualitative and quantitative research methods. Fifty San Lázaro farmers participated in a study that described their traditional farming practices in coffee production and their level of participation in government-sponsored agricultural programs. Agricultural educators should use the results of this study to direct efforts to recognize IKS and beliefs of San Lázaro farmers in developing extension programs to meet comprehensive adult educational needs.


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