Update, microcredit, etc.

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sat, 16 Dec 2006 12:26:22 PST
Producing commercial bulbs might not be a good small enterprise for people 
in developing countries, but I have often thought that collecting seeds 
might be, especially for women who are out anyway tending flocks or 
gathering food and other useful plants. If a competent local person could 
be trained to consolidate the seeds and teach others how to identify what 
is wanted, perhaps to prepare identifiable pressed specimens, and send the 
results on for payment, I think this could work. As for finding an 
appropriate "manager," my work in field linguistics taught me that in every 
small population there are intellectuals, perhaps people who never attended 
school but who have directed their intelligence toward whatever is of 
interest around them; some are superb linguistic informants, and some of 
them are remarkable "folk botanists." (I even knew an Athabaskan woman 
blind from early childhood who gathered food and medicinal plants by touch 
and smell; she used her remaining senses to tell when she was in a habitat 
where the desired plants were likely to grow.)

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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