Keywords: technology transfer, agriculture, Caribbean, innovation, agroindustries, developing countries, infrastructure, Trinidad and Tobago, stakeholder partnerships, sustainability, sustainable development, indigenous capabilities, indigenous culture, indigenous peoples
Technology transfer for agro-industries in developing nations: a Caribbean perspective
Agriculture has long served as the 'handmaiden' to the industrial sector in many developing countries including those in the Caribbean region. Technological change, competition and globalisation are driving a restructuring of agro-business Research and Development (R&D) processes and strategies. This paper discusses the potential benefits of technology transfer to agriculture and the infrastructural requirements for the support of innovation in developing countries with particular reference to Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. A collaborative framework for innovation and technology transfer is explained. It stresses the need to build partnerships among stakeholders (i.e. agro-firms, government, knowledge institutions, etc.) and identifies main processes involved to assure the sustainability of the agricultural environment. Technology transfer is not simply copying the technologies passively from the advanced nations, but is an active and creative process of adaptation rather than of adoption that recognises the indigenous capabilities needed to suit local conditions.