It’s time to change the system, not just the technology

Society faces enormous challenges in the transition to sustainable rural development. We are unlikely to make this transition unless we move away from the 20th-century paradigm that sees the world as a logical, linear system focused on “scaling up” the use of technologies to reach hundreds of millions of smallholders.

In a new article published this week on NextBillion, Lennart Woltering of CIMMYT contends that “farming communities are unlikely to continue using a new practice or technology if the surrounding system remains unchanged, since it is this very system that shaped their conventional way of farming.”