This is a sign that there are people in Africa and Asia who are well familiar with the challenges of smallholders.
Those people understand that an additional piece of technology (e.g., tractor) or infrastructure (e.g., warehouse), although welcome and needed, will not solve the poverty challenge (SDG #1).
As the Kibbutz and Moshav model proved a hundred years ago, tractors, irrigation systems, pesticides, fertilizers, and other technologies, are not “the foundation” for thriving rural communities.
You don’t start building a house from the top floor; you begin digging deep in the ground and installing solid foundations.
We learn from the Kibbutz and Moshav stories that the foundation for thriving rural communities is the “soft” characteristics, the community structure and organization, plus cooperation within and between communities.
I assure you there is a place for technology after we settle the fundamental issues.
Remember the three pillar Package for a thriving agro sector:
* Business Models.
Do you still think that the “lack of technologies” is what inhibits smallholders’ prosperity?
A LEAP OF FAITH
There is a time when you read the morning paper and a time you realize that tomorrow’s news should be about you - your actions and deeds.
I believe in acting and falling forward to achieve your goals and success.
Don’t try to pass life without making mistakes. A person with no record of mistakes is one who did nothing.
There is no greater waste than doing nothing; you have wasted your life, air, food, time, and personal gifts God gave you to help others.
I believe in attempting to do the big special, unique, and some may call it "crazy things"; those things that others don’t even dare to dream about.
Oh, and on the way, you will surely make mistakes, which means you will learn, improve, and have many stories to tell your grandchildren.
This is an introduction to my message; THINK BIG.
How big? It is entirely up to you.
Fly to Mars, if you will.
Be sure there are no “TOO BIG GOALS.”
Challenging smallholders’ Poverty is A GLOBAL (BIG) CHALLENGE.
Wouldn't you like to join a national, continental, global effort to challenge Poverty, the UN SDG #1, through social (non-technological) tools?
Challenge poverty by bringing a solution based on the novel approach of re-structuring and re-organizing rural communities in need.
Using the lessons learned based on the concepts and principles from the Kibbutz and Moshav model.
Remember that to challenge poverty requires a leap of faith. Trust yourself, be committed, and make a leap of faith.
You will undoubtedly fall; your part is to ensure you always fall forward, get up, keep going, and the world will change before your eyes.
You will create your legacy, leave your mark, and your children and grandchildren will thank you.
I appreciate and enjoy reading your comments and questions, for it enables me to hear and learn your side and understand how well the messages were understood.
Here are a few messages I received this week regarding the Kibbutz concept articles. Since those messages represent many others, I share them with you and my responses.
A) “MY AMBITION is to connect with more smallholder farmers. But in my country, most of them prefer working alone. This is why I'm trying to develop a cooperative approach. But farmers don't want to align on this working way. This is why I prefer to continue working alone…”
Answer: No one said it is an easy task getting farmers to cooperate. Increasing cooperation is a process that requires the intervention of experts.
B) “I OWN ABOUT 15 Ha in my village with a bore-hole and drip irrigation system on 5 ha of the surface. My question is if possible to apply the kibbutz approach on a single farm like mine.”
Answer: Kibbutz is a concept unrelated to the size of the area or technology. It is about “grouping people” and making them cooperate, which you didn’t mention.
C) “I BELIEVE OUR FARMERS’ groups, Societies, Women’s groups, Producer groups, and Coops can be our version of Kibbutz if managed well...”
Answer: Those groups are an excellent starting point for more closely organized operating communities, but they are not a Kibbutz nor a version of it.
D) “CAN YOU ALSO HELP FARMERS in case the local government makes its farmers’ profit smaller and smaller by many steps such as raising water and electricity prices or lowering tax on imported fruit? Can farmers overcome the hard situation only by changing more efficiently?”
Answer: Those challenges are common to farmers in developed economies. Farmers in developed economies are already highly efficient, so efficiency is not the solution. Focus the efforts on re-organizing the ecosystems and improving business models.
E) “I THINK THE KIBBUTZ (MODEL) can be adjusted to our situation due to land scarcity and high population growth."
Answer: The Kibbutz concept and principles are unrelated to land scarcity or population growth. It is most suitable to help impoverished rural communities who desire to see rapid economic growth.
It is not easy to understand the mechanism of a Kibbutz or Moshav for someone who has yet to experience it. Allow me to be the middle man in conveying the model.
MORE THAN THE EYE SEES
The good news about the unique Israeli rural community models, Kibbutz and Moshav – is that they are more successful than you imagine. You have my open invitation to visit and see for yourself.
The bad news is that applying the concepts and life principles that led those communities to be global leaders in the agro sector is a complex task.
In reality, developing countries don’t have a solution for impoverished rural communities.
The leader tries not to get burned from this “hot potato.” To that end, they provide subsidies, introduce national/continental programs (AGRA, World Bank, etc.), and bring NGOs, funds technologies, advisors, etc., yet, the farmers remain impoverished.