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What Does It Take To Control Your Agro-Business and Your Life?

“Reality is the manifestation of deeds, resulting from thoughts that stem from attitude. What is your attitude?.

Dr. Nimrod Israely – Founder and CEO – Biofeed Ltd.

You must be thinking, “Only governments and big companies can deal with global challenges and help to solve the greatest problems of millions of farmers. I am sure that this is not a task for a farmer. I cannot do it. I cannot solve global problems!

If this is how you think, then this story is for you, hoping it will change your life view and attitude to what you can and can’t.

These were the early 1990s; I was a fruit grower in a Kibbutz (Israel), and I literally couldn’t sleep at night.

Why? Because night time was when I was spraying, and I was spraying nearly every night. Thinking about it now sends a shiver down my spine.

I was suffering from endless poisonous, costly pesticide sprays. The “thanks” I received in return from Mother Nature were unsatisfying crop protection results.

As always, fruit flies were among the reasons for the poor results, making my life more “interesting” than I wished I had.

This troubling situation went on for years and years, with no apparent change on the horizon.

I was unhappy with the professional and financial results and wondered WHY I got into this situation, and mainly HOW do I get out of it?

WHY?

Maybe the catastrophic situation is my fault!? Perhaps I am incompetent to the task and a lousy fruit grower? If that is the case, all I have left to do is get used to the poor results or switch professions.

Then, there was a second option; the problem is global, and I suffer like everybody else. It means that the problem is of such a magnitude that nobody could solve it until this day. In this case (like before), all I have left is getting used to the poor results or switching professions.

Farmer, have you ever felt like no matter what you do, you are going to lose?

Don’t you hate that feeling when nothing you do is working well, and everything feels hopeless and worthless?

This kind of negative feeling sucks the energies out of your body, leaving you in despair, feeling as if nothing will ever change and you will always struggle to survive.

If there was one thing I couldn’t bear, is that feeling of failure combined with the thought that the current reality is the best I could have.

What would you advise a fruit grower who is facing such a reality? Would you recommend waiting until someone will or will not provide the solution he needs, or maybe hope for a miracle?

VICTIMS?

When I read the email from Mr. KABUUBI, I could sense the same feeling of “helpless, and despair.”

Like myself years ago, Mr. KABUUBI is frustrated by the current results and overall situation.

He is trying to figure out the roots of the fruit fly problem, asking himself if the problem is local or global because the farmers are incompetent or the solutions are ineffective?

As a scientist, I value such questions. But as a fruit grower, I am not looking for Questions; I would like to have Answers and Effective Solutions.

The mango growers of Africa (and other places) suffer a devastating economic disaster, due to fruit flies, with no solution in sight and nobody to reach out for help.

They lose 50% of the yield to fruit flies, and export markets seem like a faraway dream.

Even marketing mangoes on the domestic markets is becoming more challenging by the day, to the extent that even local buyers and processors refuse to buy from them.

As if this is not enough, the lack of quality produce brought some local food processors to a ridiculous situation of importing mangoes from Brazil to Africa!

Is there a more outstanding example of absurdity than this to indicate the depth of the African agro-industry professional and economic problem?

ATTITUDE!

Asking if the problems are Local or Global, if it is the results of the farmer’s deeds or ineffective solutions, is one way of viewing problems in farmers’ lives.

This path can lead us to understand where the root of the problem lies and who is to blame for its existence. But at its heart, this is a passive attitude for problem-solving.

The passive attitude is not creating solutions but instead trying to manage problems with existing tools. But what if there are no current effective solutions? Then you are doomed to continue suffering!

Taking the passive attitude means that we choose to stay with a problem until someone hands us the solution, and until then, we should get used to living with the problem or switch professions.

However, not all fruit growers are willing to wait for a miracle. Some may choose to take a pro-active, result-oriented approach. Such fruit growers may say;

I don’t care if the fruit fly problem is local or global if it is my fault or due to ineffective solutions. I am not ready to go on with that awful reality, and I am not ready to accept that this is “the best it can be.” Instead, I will search the world until I find a solution, and if there is no solution, then I will create one.

This is an Active Attitude, where you actively pursue your destiny.

It was 1994 when I finally had enough of the “fruit fly suffering.” I then said to myself;

I am not a victim of the circumstances, I am not going to wait until the government, or a big company, or a big organization or whoever, will come up (or not) with the solution I need. I will look and bring the solution, and if it does not exist, then I will develop it.

Equipped with this attitude, I went on a long journey to pursue the fruit fly solution I desperately needed for my orchards.

This is one of the nice things when choosing the active attitude; you always feel in control, even when things don’t go well.

You feel good, positive, energized, and powerful because you know that you are shaping and creating your future, and maybe even positively influencing others’ lives.

When you are active, you are not a victim, and your future is not shrouded in mist.

In a 30-year retrospective on fruit fly management, it is clear to all that sitting and waiting wouldn’t bring me, or other fruit growers, the desired solution.

Thanks to being active and going on a journey to bring/develop a holistic solution for fruit growers, we have Biofeed today, the creator of FreeDome, and Green Valley, the creator of FFCTZ.

BE ACTIVE

The decision to be active rather than passive is not a one-time decision but an ongoing way of life.

These days, we finalize mango growers’ selection to participate in the first large-scale Green Valley program.

Typically, an organization running a program of such magnitude, which is expecting to have a profound impact on the agro-industry and the local economy, will wait until it receives a government or other substantial financial support.

However, blessed with an “active attitude” DNA, we chose not to wait for any government or organization to partner or support the program. Instead, we decided to embark on this journey with the growers, importers/exporters, companies, and decision-makers who see the opportunity and are ready to move now.

However, when farmers ask us about government subsidies, we say, “We could wait for the government, and maybe they would decide to support this vital program and maybe not. How many more years are you ready to wait?

Instead of waiting, how about we do the right thing? How about we ensure that it is worthwhile for all involved partners, from a business and economic point of view, and then we move full steam ahead?”

Looking at the agro-industry in Africa and Asia, one may say that the world has already wasted too much precious time. Are we up to waste more precious time?

I can tell you this; Green Valley is not in the mood to waste time. Suppose a government decides, for its reasons, to support, accelerate, and expand the Green Valley program. In that case, I am sure that the local agro-industry and farmers would appreciate and welcome it.

But, we will not “sit and wait” until that happens, until someone else decides and dictate our future. Farmers and businesses can take hold and determine their future through actions.

I turn to Mr. KABUUBI and call him to act, together with the entire agro-industry community in Africa and Asia;

“Stop waiting! Know what you want, what you need, what you know you must have, and then be active, be persevere, and keep moving until you reach your goal. It is time for farmers and the agro-industry community to become far more active and take control of their life by determining how their future would look like.”

Poor, hungry people can’t fully enjoy, exploit, develop, and practice democracy, equality, creativity, and freedom. For this, they should have food served on their table and surplus in the bank.

For that reason, Green Valley’s first goal is to raise the income and the profitability of the farmers and business owners who work with us. I believe that farmers can expect 10% profit addition, and maybe more, already in the first year of the project.

TAKEAWAYS

Summary of messages.

» The most prominent companies globally, e.g., Amazon, Apple, Facebook, didn’t exist 50 years ago. They all started as small businesses, where their biggest asset is their positive attitudes. It’s okay to be a small business.

» You are not a victim as long as you control your thoughts.

» You are the master of your life; your attitude will determine your achievements and your happiness.

» You can’t change the past, but it is entirely in your hands how your future would look like. Today is tomorrow’s “tomorrow.” Do not postpone things for tomorrow. Bonus, attitude is everything. Think positive, do good, and surround yourself with good people.

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Farmers Review Africa
Farmers Review Africa