Labour Studies

Topics: Technology, Appropriate technology, Appropedia Pages: 7 (2304 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Increasingly, technological innovations and transfer are seen as solutions to third world development. Examine the problems associated with such an approach According to ( ) amid a grave world food crisis, collapsing ecosystems and climate chaos, new technologies are once again being promoted by international institutions, governments and corporations as the magic bullet for boosting food production and saving the planet. ( ) notes that the idea of a technological fix for agricultural development is nothing new, but governments are now calling on industry and philanthro-capitalists to lead the way. Beginning with the 20th century’s Green Revolution, the magic bullet techno-fix is a well-worn model that ultimately concentrates corporate power, promotes dependence on industrial agriculture and undermines the ability of smallholder farmers to produce food for their own communities ( ). Today, biotech and synthetic biology ‘extreme genetic engineering’ are being touted as the newest prescription for addressing an agricultural system in crisis especially in the third world ( ) According to ( ) persistent socioeconomic problems in Third World countries, despite decades of massive infusion of advanced technology from the industrial world, continue to elicit questions regarding the appropriateness of this technology in the Third World. One can note that its not all about inventing new technologies and infiltrating them to third world countries that will act as a wounder spell to third world development but rather the production of and use of technologies ideas that are progressive, alternative, light-capital, labor-intensive, indigenous, low-cost technology which simply amounts to the discourse of appropriate technology ( ).The purpose of this paper is to discuss appropriate technology as it concerns sustainable social and economic development in the Third World specifically focusing on genetic engineering . Third World development must not be taken as a stance regarding technology input; it requires both large- and small scale appropriate technology

wheat and rice, primarily in Asia and Latin America. Bankrolled by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the World Bank, Green Revolution scientists were devoted to breeding semidwarfcrops that increased yields by better absorbingsynthetic fertilizers and water, and utilizingpesticides.3 With the large-scale introduction of‘modern’ seeds and purchased inputs, the GreenRevolution succeeded in producing larger quantitiesof food, but it was a harvest of diminishedquality4 that depleted soils, contaminated waterand eroded crop and livestock biodiversity on amassive scale. The Green Revolution escalated social and economic inequalities ^ resulting in heavily indebted farmers, landless peasants and millions more dispossessed who migrated to mega-city slums. In their single-minded quest to increase production through science and technology, Green Revolution scientists did not really see people, cultures and diversity. They did not see the complex farming and knowledge systems established by farmers ^ particularly women farmers ^ over more than10,000 years.They failed to understand that local and indigenous farming communities have continuously developed varieties of plants and livestock that are uniquely adapted to diverse and adverse agro-ecological conditions ^ where the primary emphasis is not on high yields, but on resilience and risk-adverse qualities in the face of harsh and sometimes unpredictable conditions. Green Revolutionaries instead pictured primitive farming practices, inferior seeds and a potential powder-keg of social unrest that could be de-fused with modern‘miracle seeds’. In the process, the architects of the Green Revolution created a longlasting myth that imported seeds are the central techno-fix for increasing yields, fighting hunger and promoting agricultural development.

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