.*
9/8/18 paul oyer: fei-fei li : lei zhang - WE WELCOME q&a THE MORE MATHEMATUCAL OR HUMAN THE BETTER chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk MA stats cambridge 1973
1/1/21 we have entered the most exciting decade to be alive- by 2030 we will likely know whether humans & tech wizards can save futureoflife- tech surveys indicate odds of accomplishing this greatest human mission would be lot less without spirit of a chinese american lady at stanford-...
bonus challenge for those on road to glasgow cop2 nov2021: future 8 billion peoples want to value from 2021 rsvp chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

GAMES of world record jobs involve
*pack of cards: world record jobs creators eg fei-fe li ; fazle abed ...
*six future histories before 2021 starts the decade of empowering youth to be the first sustainable generation.

problem 99% of what people value connecting or doing to each other
has changed (and accelerated in last three quarters of a century- while laws, culture and nature's diversity and health are rooted in real-world foundations that took mother earth 1945 years to build with -and that's only using the christian calendar

1995 started our most recent quater of a century with 2 people in Seattle determined to change distribution of consumers' markets - the ideas of how of bezos and jack ma on what this would involve were completely different except that they changed the purpose of being online from education knowledge to buying & selling things -
nb consuming up things is typically a zero-sum game or less if done unsustainable- whereas life-shaping knowhow multiplies value in use
from 1970 to 1995 knowhow needed to end subsistence poverty of over a billion asian villagers was networked person to person by women with no access to electricity grids- their number 1 wrjc involved partnerships linked by fazle abed - borlaug's crop science was one of the big 5 action learnings -its person to person application saved a billion people from starvation; the first 185 years of the machie age started up bl glasgow university's smith an watt in 1760 had brought humans to the 2 world wars; when people from nearly 200 nations founded the united nations at san francisco opera house 1945 chances of species survival looked poor- miraculous;y one mathematician changed that before he died 12 years later- john von neumann's legacy was both the moon race and twin artificial intel labs - one facing pacific ocean out of stanford; the other facing the atlantic out of mit boston .. who are top job creating economists by practice - health -refugee sports green hong kong..where are top tour guides around billionaire 1 2 around poverty,,, we the peoples ...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

paul polak 2008

 


As the founder of International Development Enterprise (IDE), the organization that started popularizing treadle pumps in Bangladesh twenty-five years ago, I am delighted to have a chance to comment on Martin Fischer’s paper. I would like to focus on three things. I very much agree with Martin that increasing income is the single most important first step out of poverty for the 1.1 billion people who survive on less than a dollar a day. I applaud KickStart’s success in helping thousands of very poor farmers in Kenya and Tanzania move out of poverty by increasing their income with treadle pumps purchased from private sector supply chains. This provides a much needed model of success for sub-Saharan Africa. I would like to examine the remarkable global impacts that more than two million treadle pumps have made in the hands of dollar-a-day poor rural people, and explore what we can be learned from this experience that we can apply more broadly to poverty eradication initiatives. The most important point Martin Fischer makes is that “if you ask a person in a poor place what they need most, they will tell you that it is a way to make more money.” I couldn’t agree more. Over the past twenty-five years, I have had long conversations with more than three thousand farmers who earn less than a dollar a day, and walked with them through their fields. When I ask them what they need most to move out of poverty, virtually all of them say that the most important thing they need is to find ways to significantly increase their income. Martin describes his disappointment when he surveyed the appropriate technology movement in Kenya in 1985, and had to conclude that the movePaul Polak A Practical Path to Increased Income Innovations Case Discussion: KickStart A Practical Path to Increased Income ment was essentially dead. Twenty years ago, I talked to a bright young man who was part of a team of people developing a tool carrier for farmers in Africa. He was convinced this new technology would be a major breakthrough, because it would carry out all of the functions of plows, cultivators, seeders, harrows, and carts, all with one basic tool. I had already talked to a lot of small farmers by then, so I asked him a simple question: “How much will it cost?” He scratched his head, and said he thought that was an interesting question. He said he would make some calculations and get back to me. Right then I knew that the tool carrier would never work. If you think like a tinkerer solving a technical problem, you will likely be able to come up with a technical solution. But if you don’t design it for poor people as customers, it will likely never be adopted. The first step in design for the poor is identifying the critical affordability price point at which poor people become willing to vote with their feet to buy it. To me, that was the tragedy of the appropriate technology movement. E. F. Schumacher’s book Small is Beautiful inspired thousands of gifted people around the world. The tragedy is that the appropriate technology movement it inspired was implemented by technical tinkerers rather than hardheaded entrepreneurs who design for the marketplace. If you think of the poor as recipients of charity instead of as customers, you invariably design goods and services that are too expensive to be affordable for them as customers. Effective tools have to be customer driven and market driven if they are to have any hope of being brought to scale. The key reason that treadle pumps have had such a remarkably positive impact on poverty in many countries is that their design was shaped and hardened by disciplined customer feedback, and their marketing and distribution by the private sector around the world was shaped by the poor customers who voted with their feet to buy them. I applaud the success that Martin Fisher, Nick Moon, and KickStart have had in helping more than 65,000 very poor families in Kenya and Tanzania move increase their income by purchasing and installing treadle pumps, as well as increasing the income of enterprises making, distributing and installing them. Kickstart accomplished this by adapting the treadle pump technology widely disseminated by IDE in Asia to the specific conditions of Kenya, and establishing effective local private sector distribution and marketing systems. As has now been thoroughly demonstrated in many developing countries, the income-enhancing impact of treadle pumps comes not from the technology alone. Rather, treadle pumps are effective because small farmers need affordable water control for their crops in order to switch from subsistence crops to labor-intensive high value crops, like fruits and vegetables that they grow for the market. The impressive leverage KickStart obtained by using treadle pumps to stimulate increased smallholder income through growing and selling cash crops mirrors IDE’s earlier experience in Asia. Here is an example of the leverage innovations / Davos 2008 55 Paul Polak obtained from donor investments in IDE’s treadle pump program in Bangladesh, which began in the mid-1980s. Here is a brief overview of the remarkable global impact that the treadle pumps, a single affordable irrigation technology, has had on the lives of poor people worldwide. Since Gunnar Barnes and his colleagues at the Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS), supported by Lutheran World Service, introduced treadle pumps in Bangladesh in the late 1970s, and IDE launched its global marketing and dissemination initiative in the 1980s, some 2.2 million poor rural families in developing countries have purchased and installed trea56 innovations / World Economic Forum special edition Table 2. Global Treadle Pump Sales *IDE's TP project ended in Bangladesh in 2003 and in India in 2004, but private sector sales in these countries continue **Numbers compiled from EnterpriseWorks' website (www.enterpriseworks.org) *** Personal communication, Ministry of Agriculture of Malawi, 2005. Another 80,000 pumps on on order. A Practical Path to Increased Income dle pumps. The impact of these treadle pumps on the net annual income of smallholders exceeds US$220 million a year, not counting the increased income of private sector supply chain enterprises making, selling, and drilling wells for treadle pumps. Because profitable private sector supply chains are designed to be the instruments for putting the technology in the hands of small farmers, they continue doing so after formal project funding is terminated. The private sector continues to sell and install 55,000 treadle pumps a year in Bangladesh and India after IDE’s and development donors support for the program terminated. The multiplier impact on the economies of developing countries is already in the range of $1 billion a year or more. All this is from one single affordable water lifting technology customized for small farms! Why has this single affordable small plot irrigation technology been so successful? Over the past 15 years, many people have told me that IDE was very lucky to have stumbled on the treadle pump. They said that this is a unique technology, and we will never find another one like it. I totally disagree. I believe that the biggest impact of treadle pumps is not the increase in income for the 5 to 10 million families in the world who are likely to install one. Instead, it lies in what we can learn from the treadle pump experience that is applicable to ending the poverty of the 800 million people who survive on less than a dollar a day, and earn their living from tiny farms. A fact that has never been effectively incorporated into development theory and practice is the remarkably small size of the farms where most of the families who earn less than a dollar a day make their living. Farms under two hectares represent 98 percent of the farms in China, 80 percent in India, 96 percent in Bangladesh, 88 percent in Indonesia, 95 percent in Vietnam, 87 percent in Ethiopia, 74 percent in Nigeria, 75 percent in Tanzania, 90 percent in Egypt, 98 percent in Russia, and 99 percent in the Ukraine (Nagayets 2005). More importantly, average farm sizes in developing countries have been rapidly shrinking. Average farm size in China went from 0.6 ha in 1980 to 0.4 ha in 1990; in India from 2.3 ha to 1.4 ha between 1971 and 1995; and in Ethiopia from 1.4 to 1.0 ha between 1977 and 2000 (Nagayets 2005). This is average farm size. The size of farms where dollar-a-day people earn their living is much smaller—closer to one acre divided into scattered quarter-acre plots. If increasing the income of poor people is the first step out of poverty, then the obvious place to start is to increase the income the 800 million or so people who now earn less than a dollar a day from one-acre farms. While most small farmers put a high priority on growing enough food to keep their families from being hungry, the notion that they should grow surplus rice, wheat, and corn for the market suggests that they should compete in the global marketplace with Western wheat farmers who farm 3,000 acres with combines and generous government subsidies. This is clearly untenable. innovations / Davos 2008 57 Paul Polak To take the first step out of poverty, one-acre farmers need to play to their strength in the global marketplace, and that is the lowest labor rates in the world. Their path to increased income is to grow marketplace-driven, highvalue, labor-intensive cash crops. This requires two things: y Access to a whole new range of affordable small plot irrigation devices, delivered by private sector supply chains. y Access to markets for diversified high value cash crops, delivered by private sector value chains. The treadle pump is only the first of a whole new range of affordable water lifting, water storage, and water distribution technologies that need to be developed to fit the income generating needs of small farmers. For the past ten years, IDE and others have worked to developed affordable small plot irrigation systems. Some 200,000 have already been purchased, and I believe there is a global market for at least 20 million of them. Other affordable small plot water technologies likely to have very large global demand include affordable sprinkler systems, enclosed water storage units, efficient surface delivery systems, and micro-diesel pumps. The most important thing that we can learn from the treadle pump experience is how to design affordable, customer driven small plot irrigation technologies, and how to deliver them in large numbers to small farm customers through private sector supply chains. During the late 1980s, when farmers who had installed treadle pumps in Bangladesh did so well, everybody at IDE believed that all a small farmer needed to move out of poverty was to buy and install a treadle pump. At the height of the integrated rural development movement I even wrote a paper called “Segregated Rural Development,” which touted treadle pumps as the answer to rural poverty. Later on, we found we could apply our intensive rural marketing techniques to convince small farmers in the hills of Nepal to invest in low cost drip-irrigation systems. But the farmers ended up not using them much, and sales went down. These were maize and millet farmers who had never grown vegetables, and we had to implement a crash course in intensive horticulture to train them to switch effectively from growing grain crops to producing off-season cucumbers and cauliflower for the Kathmandu market. This made them a lot of money, and sales of low cost drip systems took off. But farmers further away from the road needed help to link up with traders who would buy their vegetables. This made it clear to us that the process of generating new income for poor farmers must start with an evaluation of the markets where they could sell what they grow, and a recommended list of four or five high-value crops that farmers could likely grow in their area, and sell in the markets they had access to. I believe that 500 million of the 800 million dollar-a-day people in the world who earn their living from farming could move out of poverty by switching to high-value, labor intensive crops, gaining access to the markets where 58 innovations / World Economic Forum special edition A Practical Path to Increased Income they can sell them through private sector value chains, and gaining access to the affordable irrigation tools, seeds, fertilizer, and credit they need to grow them through private sector supply chains. This is a far cry from a singular focus on treadle pumps, but it is the remarkable global success of treadle pumps that has opened the door to learning about the practical path to increased income for millions of impoverished rural people. References Chapin, R., 1998. “Bucket Kits for Vegetable Gardens.” Chapin Watermatics. Heierli, U. with Polak, P., 2003. “Poverty Alleviation as a Business.” Swiss Agency for Development and Development. Islam, A.S.M. and Barnes, G., 1991. The Treadle pump: Manual Irrigation for Small Farmers in Bangladesh. Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service. Keller, J. et al., 2005. “New Low Cost Irrigation Technologies for Small Farms,” Proceedings of the International Commission of Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). 19th International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage. Beijing, September 10-18, Beijing, China. Nanes, R, Calavito, L and Polak, P., 2003. Report of Feasibility Mission for Smallholder Irrigation in Bangladesh. International Development Enterprises. Nagayets, O., 2005. “Small Farms: Current Status and Key Trends,” background paper for the Future of Small Farms Research Workshop, Wye College, June 26-29 . Perry, E. and Dotson, B., 1996. “The Treadle Pump—An Irrigation Technology Adapted to the Needs of Small Farmers,” GRID 8 (March 1996): 6-7. Polak, P.,2005. “Water and the Other Three Revolutions Needed to End World Poverty,” Water Science and Technology 51(8):133-143. Postel, S. et al., 2001. “Drip Irrigation for Small Farmers: A New Initiative to Alleviate Hunger and Poverty.” Water International 26(1). Shah. T. et al., 2000. “Pedaling Out of Poverty: Social Impact of a Manual Irrigation Technology in South Asia.” International Water Management Institute Research Report 45.