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Innovative Livelihood Options for Sustainable Rural Development in Central Himalaya, India
Published: 23 October 2012 by MDPI in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Innovation
Abstract: The Central Himalaya is known world over for its rich and diverse natural bio- resources. In order to utilize these natural resources in a sustainable manner, it is important that resources be harnessed efficiently to meet the people\'s development aspirations without degrading them and therefore, urgent need for large scale establishment of technology resource centre was realized. Poor access to appropriate technologies due to difficult topographies and tough mountain conditions is one of the major causes of poverty, drudgery and natural resources degradation in the Central Himalaya. Technology change is an important instrument in the continuous process of socio-economic development. Of late, development planners have realized the importance of suitable or appropriate technologies and practices, and therefore, have stressed upon the need for a large scale demonstration, on-site training, capacity building and skill development of user groups in rural and marginal areas. In this regard, the Rural Technology Demonstration and Training Centre (RTDTC) established by Garhwal Unit of G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development have been perceived as a means of developing and disseminating improving technologies through action and participatory research. The new approach, on the one hand, may be able to diversify livelihood earning options for local communities and may also help conserve natural resources on which these options depend on the other. Rural technology is widely recognized as one of the major determinants of socio-economic development, and the idea that the simple and hill specific transfer of technology from lab or field lab to field/land will result in growth and thereby poverty is alleviating. As a result of these efforts, a number of farmers and other stakeholders, including NGOs have adopted some of the potential rural technologies at various levels. The programme facilitated regular interactions among scientists and primary stakeholders during the period 2004–2012, so as to ensure that farmers acquired all necessary knowledge related to a technology and entrepreneurship. It is hoped that the improved capacities of local farmers will help in the widespread adoption of rural technologies in Central Himalaya and other countries facing common problems/issues and having similar environmental and socio-economic conditions.
Keywords: Rural technology, Capacity building, Natural resource, Livelihood, Sustainability