Inderscience Publishers

Indigenous knowledge and fast moving consumer goods: are we seeing some tradeoffs?

This paper explores the role of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and biodiversity as positive growth leveraging factors. In doing so, we examine how the growth of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) may adversely affect regional knowledge systems and biodiversity. From the investors' perspective, FMCG sector is the source of high and stable return. We postulate that the growth of a sector like FMCG is a threat to local production systems using organic inputs and indirectly to the overall regional growth. In countries such as India, villages have their own indigenous-organic solutions such as scouring and cleaning agents, beverages, balms, chutneys, medicines, etc. Through a simple model we show the approach towards conceptual modelling of the trade-off between non-IK embedded solutions and IK-based solutions. In trying to link this paper with future work, it suggests that there is a need for a more pro-active policy to specify indigenous product standards and disclosure norms.

Keywords: indigenous knowledge, biodiversity, economic growth, fast moving consumer goods, FMCG, indigenous culture, regional knowledge systems, India, product standards, disclosure norms, innovation, indigenous peoples

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