7 February 2000
Scientific hope for rural economy

SCIENTIFIC developments in biotechnology and information technology hold out the hope of transforming the rural economy, according to a columnist for The Independent.

Sarah Hogg, the chairman of Frontier Economics, argues the biotechnology revolution now offers the opportunity of growing a wide range of non-food crops, from plant-based vaccines to energy crops and biodegradeable packaging materials.

The IT revolution will allow economic activity to take place in remote rural areas that could previously only take place in cities.

Ms Hogg says this could transform employment in rural areas if the government is prepared to invest in high-capacity telecommunications links.

Ms Hogg was an adviser on economic policy in the last Conservative government.

  • The Independent 07/02/2000 page 15