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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Tinker, tiller, technical change: peoples' technology and innovation off the farm
Authors:Gamser, MatthewISNI
Appleton, HelenISNI
Book title:The cultural dimension of development: indigenous knowledge systems
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subject:indigenous technology
Abstract:While little from the billions of development dollars devoted to industrial assistance touches artisan innovators, it is these men and women who are keeping the poor majority fed, housed and supplied with essential tools, and it is they who maintain these supplies throughout periods of extreme fluctuation in national economies and resource conditions. The 'Tinker, Tiller, Technical Change' project seeks to raise awareness of the significance of 'peoples' technologies' for the poor of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its investigators from 14 developing countries have produced case studies of 17 innovations, covering a wide range of technologies, cultures and environments. This article analyses five case studies, three of which are from Africa: cassava processing in Nigeria, salt processing in Sierra Leone, and coffee pulping in Tanzania. The examples demonstrate the significance of peoples' (off-farm) innovation and innovators to poor communities. Recognition of the value of peoples' technology is the necessary first step towards strengthening the people and organizations behind it. Notes, ref.