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Free and Open Source Software and Technology for Sustainable Development

image of Free and Open Source Software and Technology for Sustainable Development
Free and open source software (FOSS) technologies transcend geographical and cultural boundaries to usher in a new paradigm where volunteers collaboratively develop software for the commons. The political economy of FOSS technologies has far-reaching implications because of the centrality of information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D). The global trend in the diffusion and adoption of FOSS technologies is a testimony to the socio-economic and technological impact the software has for both developed and developing economies. While FOSS development, education and business potentials may appear as a phenomenon for the developed world, a sizable number of developing countries have undertaken bold measures to bring about innovation, sustainable ICT development and technology independence.

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Innovative tools for sustainable agriculture in developing countries: The impact of open source biotechnology

Sustainable agriculture is widely acknowledged as a fundamental component of any strategy to fight poverty and food insecurity in developing countries. Agricultural practices – the source of livelihood for more than 86 per cent of poor people living in developing countries (World Bank, 2005) – can only be sustained if the right facilities and measures are put in place. As a research tool, agricultural biotechnology has potentials to contribute to sustainable agriculture. Recent reports have shown that such biotechnology (especially biotech crops) made significant impacts in terms of increase in yields and income and improving the quality of life in developing countries (James, 2009). Drought-tolerant, herbicidetolerant and insect/pest-resistant crop varieties have been developed using agricultural biotechnology. However, sustainable agricultural development is still far from being accomplished in developing countries due to a variety of problems, particularly the introduction and diffusion of new technologies.

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