In order to reverse the process of disintegrating non-modern sector and the inevitable exhaustion of the modern sector’s resources, I believe that it is imperative to focus our development efforts to the creation of what Schumacher(Ernst Friedrich Schumacher (16 August 1911 – 4 September 1977) was an internationally influential economic thinker with a professional background as a statistician and economist in Britain) calls an “agro-industrial structure” in villages and small towns. An agro-industrial structure is only possible when we, along with expanding our cities, bring a lot of job opportunities to the non-modern sector.
I agree with Schumacher’s contention because for the country to prosper it is important that it uses all its resources including labor. I also believe that it is more important to have everyone employed even if it means lower output per person because as Schumacher points out, that it is only when “they [the workers] experience that their time and labor is of value that they can become interested in making it more valuable.” Moreover, it is extremely crucial that the new workplaces that are brought into these rural areas are numerous, cheap, encourage local production from available resources, and minimize the amount of technical skills required. These conditions, however, are only possible when there is a concentrated effort to build and apply what Schumacher calls “intermediate technology.”
Schumacher’s concept of intermediate technology helped me gain several new perspectives about the relationship between technology, work opportunities, and rural development. Intermediate technology not only seeks to eliminate the problem of rural unemployment by creating many jobs but can also reverse the damage of highly sophisticated “$1,000 technology” in developing nations. The developing countries that import the expensive $1000 technology into their economies, expecting a quick economic boom, “inevitable kill off the [existing] $1-technology at an alarming rate, destroying workplaces much faster than modern workplaces can be created” from the $1000 technology.
The answer neither lies in the $1 indigenous technology that leads to rural unemployment in the first place nor in the sophisticated $1000 technology but in low-capital intermediate technology consisting of easy to understand, simple, and maintainable equipment. Such cheap equipment would not only fit smoothly into the highly underdeveloped environment of the non-modern sector but also lead to the creation of a vast number of workplaces and millions of jobs for the unemployed in the village.