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Sent: 17 June 2005 16:54
Subject: 58: Re: Molecular characterisation of animal genetic resources
This is Made Sri Prana from Bogor, specializing in general knowledge, from the Research Centre for Biotechnology - LIPI, Indonesia.
I understand the desperate situation that scientists working at the grassroots level have to face, especially those working in developing countries. Lots of problems have to be dealt with whilst resources are quite limited. It is quite natural if some of them would think that many of us have been wandering far over the sky forgetting that the people that badly need our help are deep down on earth.
I would say that there is no harm in discussing sophisticated science or high technology so far as one should always remember that we are all living in a real world. Therefore, when it comes to application there is no choice other than appropriate technology, adjusted to our real capability (resources etc.), local needs, capability (education, etc.), and social economic factors (culture, resources etc.). Please fly as high as you wish but ensure that your feet remain on earth.
Made S. Prana
PROSEA Network Office,
Research Centre for Biotechnology,
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI),
pran (at) proseanet.org
Sent: 17 June 2005 16:55
Subject: 59: Re: Molecular characterisation of animal genetic resources
This is Peta Jones, author of "Donkeys for development", Member of National Steering Committee, South African Network for Animal Traction (SANAT) and Member of Animal Traction Network of Eastern and Southern Africa - ATNESA http://www.atnesa.org.
I was interested by the points that Ilse Kohler-Rollefson raised (Message 31, June 9). She is, of course, quite right in most of what she says. There is, nonetheless, something to be said in favour of the "relevance of these methods for livestock keepers themselves, and especially for poverty alleviation", if one focuses on history and not on special breeds, an example being donkeys - not exactly a breed and hardly rare, of course. Recent work in molecular genetics, as far as I understand the reports, has substantiated the long-held belief that most of today's donkeys have their origins in north-east Africa, and that those in southern Africa reached there via southern Europe, specifically the Iberian peninsula, and not through Africa across the equator. Such a history has implications for management practices and technology transfer, and thus indirectly on poverty alleviation.
North of the Equator, this history gives donkeys a tremendous depth of tradition embedded in indigenous knowledge systems that can be tapped and utilized, but sometimes need to be overcome. In southern Africa (and, I suspect, in the Americas too), conversely, it means much shallower traditions, but also that donkeys carry a cultural baggage of colonialism, which even today needs to be overcome before they can fulfil their potential. On the other hand, they are not part of the older tradition that excludes women from the management of large animals, so this is an advantage.
For those of us engaged in technology transfer, all this is very important ! Viva history, and even more if molecular genetics supports it.
Peta A. Jones, MSc, PhD
Donkey Power CC
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