Recently, Eliminate Poverty NOW's president, John Craig, spoke at a parlor meeting dedicated to the great Dov Pasternak's legacy. He talked about Dov's dedication and expertise devoted to improving the lot of so many in Niger - changing their lives forever. See for yourself by watching this video to understand the depth of the outstanding accomplishments of this exceptional human being.
Dov Pasternak, the father of Farmers of the Future, died on Friday, April 27, 2018 in Israel. His passing is a huge loss for Eliminate Poverty NOW, for Pencils for Kids, for Africa and the world.
Dov was a visionary, teacher, mentor, inspirational leader and friend. So much of our philosophy and approach to agricultural development comes directly from him. He devoted his life to growing crops in the most challenging places and teaching farmers to make a good living from their sweat and toil. Dov taught us that every obstacle is an opportunity to learn, that every problem has at least 3 solutions, that with patience and perseverance almost anything is possible, and most importantly, “to never, ever give up!”
Dov was passionate, intense, and held strong opinions about things he believed in. He wanted things done right and done quickly so that progress could be made. He was also warm-hearted, funny, humble to a fault, an excellent listener, quick to forgive, and quick to change his mind when something else made more sense. He was wise beyond words and a delight to work with.
In the last year Dov was given a lifetime achievement award for his impact on the lives of people in Africa. His work has benefited hundreds of thousands. He has been, and will always be, a role model for how to make a real difference in this world. To say he will be sorely missed does not begin to capture the loss we feel.
Dov viewed Farmers of the Future as the culmination of his 50+ years of work in agricultural development. We are committed to ensure his dream of transforming agricultural practice in Africa is realized. We will never, ever give up!
Poster that hung in Dov's office - the motto he lived by
2017 was a banner year for Eliminate Poverty NOW! Check out the Annual Report to see the great accomplishments of the past year. We are very proud of how far we have come. As always we are eternally grateful to our generous supporters who have made it all possible.
Little Rock Scholars have been funded to attend Secondary School and now they are graduates and some with high honors. They are on a path to a brighter future but have hit a brick wall. The cost of entry to university is $500 which they are not in position to pay. Let's help them realize their dreams of attending university and securing their futures. Any amount will help!
John Craig, President and Founder of Eliminate Poverty NOW is visiting Farmers of the Future agricultural sites in Niger. He is impressed by the progress that has been made and how well the gardens are flourishing.
Please check out the following Facebook posts that his nephew Sam posted to see what they are experiencing.
This December, our Farmers of the Future project achieved a major breakthrough. We were invited to participate in Niger’s long-range planning conference, held every 5 years in Paris. The 2-day conference was hosted by Niger’s President and attended by over 500 people, including senior ministers of the government, heads of state from other West African countries and major players in international development.
John, Eliminate Poverty NOW’s president, was joined by Robin Mednick, President of Pencils for Kids who co-funds the program, and Hamani Djibo, President of LIBO, our local implementing partner.
The President of Niger and the Minister of Planning kicked off the meeting with the goals and priorities for the next 5 years. They include developing the rural areas of the country, increasing agricultural productivity, and empowering the forgotten half of the population – women! All are perfect fits with Farmers of the Future.
We were invited to speak at the break-out session on rural economic development. Robin presented on our behalf and the program was extremely well received. The Minister of Planning (a very impressive woman herself) has become a big supporter and we developed several promising leads during the 2 days we were there.
We will be following up on them when we visit Niger in January, so stay tuned.
Farmers of the Future is EPN’s most ambitious project, with the goal of changing the national mindset towards farming and enabling subsistence farmers to lift themselves out of poverty. In Paris, we took a giant step towards achieving that dream.
Eliminate Poverty NOW’s mission is to empower Africa’s extreme poor, especially women, to lift themselves out of poverty. To truly empower people our programs must become self-sustaining. That’s why we’re so excited by the celebration held this past week in Niger with the women participating in the Farmers of the Future program.
We first introduced FOF to 4 villages on the outskirts of Niamey, Niger’s capital. These were the pilot sites – our learning laboratory - where we launched and steadily refined how to teach women and students to approach farming as a business. It represented a whole new way to think about and practice farming.
Now after several years of providing training and technical support, these amazingly hard-working women are ready to support themselves. And last week they celebrated becoming truly independent “Farmers of the Future!”
The women are ready to take the knowledge and experience they have gained to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs, supporting their families with a better quality of life – better diet, access to higher education, better medical care and improved living conditions to name a few.
We wish them good luck for a bright future!
On August 3rd, John traveled to Washington DC at the invitation of Niger’s Ambassador to the US to celebrate Niger’s Independence Day. The day featured a panel discussion among 8 NGO’s working to “Promote Women and Youth Empowerment in Niger.” John was joined by Robin Mednick, president of Pencils for Kids, our Canadian NGO partner.
Farmers of the Future fit perfectly with the conference theme and attendees were impressed with the bold vision of the project and the progress to date. We already have several requests for more information and possibilities for future cooperation. Stay tuned!
There are many advantages to running a lean organization. But it does delay some tasks – like producing an annual report of EPN activities each year. We’ve just posted the 2016 annual report on the website. You can check it out using the link at the bottom of our home page.
Over the past several years, one of our main goals has been to sharpen our focus on projects and partners producing the best results. We’re making good progress. This past year we supported only 3 projects. All are long-term (4-6 years and counting) and all with strong potential to achieve our mission of empowering Africa’s extreme poor, especially women and girls, to lift themselves out of poverty.
We’ve been sharing exciting news about Farmers of the Future. The creator of this transformative program is Professor Dov Pasternak. Dov is unique: a world-class agricultural scientist with a great head for business, a creative marketing flair, and a humanitarian heart 5-times regulation size.
This year Dov was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for International Development, a global association of professionals dedicated to sustainable economic, social and political development. Dov received the award for his outstanding contributions to agriculture in Africa.
The term “outstanding contributions” can be tossed around pretty loosely. In Dov’s case his contributions are real and truly impressive. Here’s a summary:
- He identified and helped commercialize dozens of new varieties of fruit trees and vegetables ideal for Africa’s soil and climate conditions, then trained thousands of farmers to grow them. Many of these crops are highly nutritious, like:
o Moringa: considered by many to be the most nutritious vegetable in the world and spreading rapidly throughout Africa.
o Cowpea: Niger’s second most important crop and a rich source of protein for humans and animal feed for livestock.
- Introduced “Pomme du Sahel” (apple of the Sahel) in West Africa. The fruit is now grown on over 20,000 acres in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal and produces over 100 million pounds of nutritious fruit a year.
- Developed technologies to grow crops on infertile land. He named the approach BDL (Bio-reclamation of Degraded Land) and introduced it to 30,000 families in Niger and Senegal.
- Reverse engineered drip irrigation (which he helped develop in Israel 30 years before) for rural farmers in Africa. Paired with training in production of high value vegetables, he introduced it as the “Africa Market Garden” to farmers in Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal.
Finally, Dov created Farmers of the Future. Dov describes FOF as the pinnacle of his career. By teaching women and children to approach farming as a business, Farmers of the Future has the potential to lift millions out of poverty. At a time when African farmers are struggling to survive and thousands are migrating in search of better opportunities, Farmers of the Future enables people to survive and prosper (at least in relative terms) without leaving home. It’s a powerful concept and the need for it grows daily.
Eliminate Poverty NOW is thrilled to be working with Dov these last 6 years to turn his dream into reality.