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.