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WHEN AND WHERE SHOULD WE PLANT VALUES?

"Make your values your way of life so you can practice them everywhere and anytime.

 

THE PACKINGHOUSE

 

The most beautiful pearls grow in unimpressive gray shells; this is how I felt when I left that afternoon, the gray unimpressive mango packinghouse of Madam PUGNET in the northern part of Ivory Coast.

Four hours earlier, I had entered Madam PUGNET’s packing house, ready to inspect it to see if it fit Dream Valley's requirements and afterward have a meeting with her staff and cooperative farmers.

The packinghouse was basic, nothing fancy, novel, or innovative, but sufficient for a professional manager like Madam PUGNET to deliver what she promised. We were satisfied.

 

 

THE GROWERS

 

After the tour of the packinghouse, we went to Madam PUGNET's office, a small room with three office tables attached to the packinghouse that has now changed its face and become a meeting room.

We are over 20 people in a small room; the air-conditioning is doing its best, which is not enough.

Yet, we sat patiently in a circle, and each shared their most significant challenge and dream, a good way for me to get to know this group of people I met for the first time. After all, agriculture is, first and foremost, about people.

I speak none of the 78 languages spoken in Ivory Coast, including French, so the process of mutual acquaintance with the translation takes time. I'm not in a hurry; I came a long way from Israel to listen to them.

I learned that although their income per hectare is double that of their neighboring country, it is still very low. In fact, the mango growers say it is lower today than it was ten years ago, which keeps them in persistent poverty.

The harvest season is very short, about six weeks, and ends with the rains when fruit fly population and infestation increase.

Due to fruit flies and other quality issues, most of the yield is not exported and, therefore, is marketed locally for a significantly lower price.

The painful part is seeing much of it not being harvested due to high infestation, which makes it unsuitable for marketing.

Maybe, most importantly, they shared their dreams for the next ten years.

It was evident they viewed the dreams they shared as huge, unreachable, and impossible, but those seem doable for me. Here are examples of some of their "Ten Years Dreams":

 * Double the income per hectare.

 * Increase exports by 50%.

 * Replacing the bicycle/motorcycle with a more decent transportation.

 * Replace the tricycle with a better mode of fruit transportation from the field to the packing house.

 * Having a family house.

 * Having a room for each wife (currently, three wives, three children, two rooms).

 

When I compare the professional and business performance of those growers to those of professional growers, I see that they make as little as 2% of the income per hectare and export only 20% to 50% of what they grow.

I am sitting there thinking to myself that with the proper intervention, we can help them make their dreams come true much earlier than a decade from now.

The meeting was very open and intimate; it concluded with me sharing my vision, discussing technologies and protocols that can help them, and answering all their questions.

I am impressed by the commitment, readiness to change, and brotherhood I meet in this group.

Time after time, I hear the farmers saying that being part of Madam PUGNET cooperative improved their livelihood.

I think of the power of cooperation, which instantly impacts the business's bottom line.

The meeting ends; I am heading to the packinghouse exit.

 

 

THE PRESCHOOL DAYCARE

 

As we stepped out, my friend Juan remembered that Madam PUGNET mentioned something about a kindergarten in the complex of the packinghouse and asked to see it.

Madam PUGNET gladly accepts our requests. We walk 15 m, open a door on the other side of a shed, turn 7m to the left, open another door, and… enter into a world of magic and miracles.

The first thing we see is a vast open space garden with a big tree at its center.

Madam PUGNET shows us an empty room where the children study; she says they are now resting (it is late noon).

Then she takes us to a room on the opposite side of the garden.

As she opened the door to the room, we saw tens of children who, in a second, turned from being so quiet that we didn't hear them all day to very loud, repeatedly shouting the name of our host.

I couldn’t be more surprised and excited by what I saw.

Madam PUGNET sees the happiness and excitement in the room and says bye to the children, leaving us with them and their young male teacher.

 

The teacher tells me those children, ages 4 to 6, learn how to write and read in French and art in this fantastic institute.

I reach the children, get on my knees, and we have a lovely wordless conversation in the language that all children know. We laugh a lot.

 

 

VALUES

 

In those few hours in Madam PUGNET’s packinghouse, I witnessed firsthand some of the values she shared with the small community she built around her business.

As often happens in such cases, the expressed values reflect those of the initiator, the leader.

 

Luckily for the farmers I met, Madam PUGNET’s values include, among others, caring for the environment and health, cooperation, education, respect, equality, the pursuit of happiness, honor, and desire to improve other people’s lives based on fair business and dignity (versus charity).

Though Madam PUGNET couldn’t articulate her values and didn’t write them anywhere, those were present and expressed in whatever she did: the packinghouse, the meeting room, the cooperative, and the preschool daycare.

Values should be practiced everywhere, all the time, by all those who believe in them.

The reality, however, differs; some only speak about values, others practice without talking about them, and some advocate and live by their values.

 

The first type is barren, reminding empty shell leaders who speak nicely and practice none.

The second type is fruitful and brings significant yet limited local impact, e.g., that of Madam PUGNET.

The third type, where we talk about values and then walk the talk, is the most powerful, thanks to its ability to present a cohesive plan, which includes reasons and expected results.

Furthermore, while we don't want to copy Type 1 and can't copy Type 2 as it is "personal" or limited, Type 3 can be copy-paste, conveying its message to a broader audience.

The Israeli Kibbutz and Moshav are based on clear, simple-to-understand core shared values.

Therefore, delivering their core values from one community to the other was easy, and with it, the success of every new rural community.

As a result, hundreds of Kibbutzs and Moshavs founded in the past 100 years carry the seeds of values planted when the first Kibbutz, Dganya Alef, was founded.

In a future column, I will present the Kibbutz values, emphasizing how those were assimilated into everyday life activities.

 

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Here are four ways that would help you step your rural communities forward in the struggle to shift from poverty into ongoing prosperity:

 

* Consultancy on rural communities' lifestyles, e.g., Kibbutz and Moshav.

* Local & national programs related to export by using Dream Valley’s operational concepts of a global vertical value and supply chain. Dream Valley chain connects input suppliers with farmers in developing economies and farmers with consumers in premium markets.

* Crop protection: Biofeed, an eco-friendly zero-spray control and protocol solution, is most suitable for developing countries

* IBMA Conference - To learn, share, and practice novel business models: the IBMA 2024 conference theme is “Reshaping Agribusiness Models for Building Prosperous Rural Communities." Register now.

 

 

 

TAKEAWAY MESSAGES

 

» VALUES MUST BE PRACTICED, or they are a waste of time.

» EVERYWHERE AND ANYTIME is where we should practice and express our values.

» CORE VALUES THAT ARE simple, articulated, and written are essential for disseminating them among many communities.

 

 

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For information on the October 7th genocide in South Israel:

Humanity is one organism

Videos - The October 7th genocide


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See you soon,
Nimrod

Dr. Nimrod Israely is the CEO and Founder of Dream Valley and Biofeed companies and the Chairman and Co-founder of the IBMA conference.

Text me: +972-54-2523425 (WhatsApp), or e-mail: nisraely@biofeed.co.il

 

 

P.S.

If you missed it, here is a link to last week's blog, Stem Talk India; Kibbutz and More."

 

P.P.S.

Dream Valley is a field-proven disruptive business model based on the successful Israeli model.

 

To learn more and become a Dream Valley partner, contact me: nisraely@biofeed.co.il, +972-542523425 (WhatsApp/Text)

 

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Change begins with a decision that the existing reality is a choice and not a decree of fate

You can contact me on LinkedIn / YouTube / Facebook or a return email.

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*This article address general phenomena. Mention of a country/continent is used for illustration purposes only.

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