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close this bookBioconversion of Organic Residues for Rural Communities (UNU, 1979)
close this folderBioconversion of fruit and vegetable wastes
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentState of the art of bioconversion
View the documentTechnical transfer

Technical transfer

Inter-regional technical transfer has lagged behind crop transfer, and removal of biochemical contraints to use of residues may be effected by following the crop transfer with appropriate technical transfer.

The sophistication of the indigenous fermentation technology, although a process may appear simple, must not be under-rated, and technical transfer may be easiest among established communities having homologous crops. Because it is only a homology, the transfer may not be automatic and a block to full harvest utilization may occur. That is, the two plants of the agronomically homologous pair may occupy similar agro-ecological niches, but the plants' biochemistry, enabling them to occupy the respective homologous biological niches, may differ.

By contrast, the robustness of yeast fermentation has resulted in successful new developments in village technology in safe alcohol distillations in places as far apart as Nigeria and the Philippines. Even in Europe the itinerant technician (the distiller) takes his apparatus to the substrate, producing the schnapps for the individual farmer from his own brew.

At present this trend in domestic technology is most highly developed in Japan, and the Japanese experience is worth studying in this context. If you bake your own bread, it does not matter if the commercial bakers go on strike. Bringing the process to the raw material may be a good energy budgeting and waste elimination practice

In my view, the marriage of industrial technology in microbiology, enzymology, small-scale equipment, and the village or domestic processer has only just begun, and one may foresee a continued development of the concept of industrially produced starters and processing aids for the wide range of village-level processes.