Thursday, June 21, 2012

Homegrown solutions 'crucial to sustainable development'

At a recently Fair hosted by the International Institute of Environment and Development last week, Melissa Leach, director of the STEPS centre believes that nurturing local innovations and technologies  and empowering the creativity of local people  could play a far greater role in helping the world achieve sustainable development.  According to her, there is a pressing need to shift from the dominant top-down approach to technology transfer. She cited  the case of East Africa, where decade-long efforts to improve food security — through a top-down approach involving sophisticated plant-breeding and high level biotechnology for drought-resistant maize — have not succeeded. On the other hand, Kevin Urama, executive director of the Nairobi-based African Technology Policy Studies Network, said the challenge was that people still believed innovation and technologies must be transferred from north to south, rather than potentially being developed indigenously.

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