I often wonder, “Can emerging economies have long-lasting economic success without considering (ignoring) their agro-sector?”
Nigeria has a lot of oil and tried to build its economy based on its commercialization. Does this work for Nigeria?
For agrarian economies, is relaying their economic success on selling “Natural Resources” is the best way out for the millions living in poverty?
Sub-Saharan African countries are still agrarian-based economies – 98% of the farmers are smallholders, many of which live in extreme poverty. Similar challenges are experienced by major Asian and LATAM countries.
Those countries’ economies’ future success or failure is interlocked with the agro-sector and vice versa.
BURDEN OR ASSET
When it comes to the agro-sector, what options do emerging economies face?
If you are a decision-maker in an emerging economy, ask yourself:
* How do we consider the agro-sector today? Is it a burden or an asset?
* How would we like to look at it in five years from now, a burden or an asset?
Unfortunately, the agro sector is often perceived as a burden more than an asset.
When I meet decision-makers in such countries, it always seems like they have no clue what to do with those “problems” called agriculture and smallholders.
When you don’t know what to do, you either do nothing or do something, anything, so you would be able to say, “We are doing a lot for you.”
In both cases, the underlying message to over 50% of the population is– “You are a problem, which we have no clue how to solve and a heavy economic burden.”
Farmers are not fools, and the message is heard and received. This is not very empowering or contributing to creating a better future.
Yet, another option is to turn those smallholders and the entire agro sector into “A National Asset!”
By turning a “problem” into a “solution,” we resolve the entire nation’s most oppressive and painful human and economic challenge.
Do you think it is impossible?
DO YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF?
Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Look around you; it is all a result of people’s dreams and actions, including the smartphone or computer, which you use to read these lines.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines was born in 1758 in Haiti as an enslaved person. Forty-eight years later (1806), he died as the first emperor of the free and independent Haiti.
Over 200 years later, the smartphone was invented by a person who, as a baby, was unwanted and rejected by his biological parents. Today, we all know his name, Steve Jobs.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
What others think and say about you becomes valid only if you believe it. First, believe in yourself and your ability to self-transform and then change the reality of others.
And yes, life is not fair. This did not prevent the greatness of the rejected and unwanted from appearing whenever they believed in themselves. Believe in yourself.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR COUNTRY?
Countries are no different than people. It is powerful when a nation believes in its ability and capability to design, lead, and create its desired future.
In contrast, it is hopeless and demoralizing when the people of a country don’t believe their country, meaning their leadership. In such a case, everything becomes “impossible.”
Countries, like individuals, rise to what they think of themselves and believe they can achieve.
If the country’s leadership doesn’t believe in its agro-sector and sees it as a burden, why should others see it in a different light?
So the first step in turning around your national economy is to believe in yourself. Then, believe in your country and its agro-sector potential to positively impact your country’s future economy.
As a leader, you should start by supporting and showing genuine appreciation to those involved and related to the agro sector. In emerging economies, that is over 50% of the population.
David Ben-Gurion was Israel’s first Prime Minister. Once retired from political life, he joined a Kibbutz (a community of farmers), worked in agriculture, and spoke about its importance to Israel’s security and future. Today Israel is an agro-industry world leader.
Leading through self-example is a great way to convince people to follow you and that your words are not an empty shell.
David Ben-Gurion, holding a lamb on his desert farm in Kibbutz Sde Boker (1954)
|SECOND STEPCOOPERATIONIf the first step requires YOU to trust and believe in YOURSELF, the second step is to do the same with others. Establish strategic cooperation that would help you advance your long-term plans.Put your relationships with others in the center – put your partners in the center instead of you. Make your business partners trust you, feeling lucky they work with you in your country.We live in a world where knowledge is growing exponentially by the minute. No country can develop all the knowledge it needs to become and remain a domain leader.The only way to stay on top is by cooperating with foreign people, experts, investors, customers, etc.To become and remain #1 in any given domain, you must continuously import knowledge, services, technology, investments, connections, creativity, and… dreams.Embrace the concept that you gain more by working with others. The alternative is the North Korea self-sufficient economic model. Is that what you want?Remember always to ask yourself, “Why would anybody like to work with us?” Then, make sure that you see things the way your partner does. Finally, deliver what you promise.Failing to stand up to your word would cause this "cooperation" short-living. Therefore, make sure you give more than you take! Let your reputation and that of your country precede you. THIRD STEPA PLAN FOR SUCCESSThe third step is making sure you have a plan for success. I am not talking about the typical approach of, “We’ll get a few Billion $ from the World Bank and buy the best technology for our best farmers!”It would help if you accepted that the agro-sector in your country is in poor shape NOT because of lack of funds and technology.Take full responsibility for the situation. Acknowledge that without a proper tailor-made Business Model, one that improves everybody’s business indicators, there would be no progress, and things would remain as is.A well-planned, result-oriented, and field-tested Business Model is critical to cement the foundation of a solid and fast-growing agro-industry sector, positively contributing to the country’s economy. THE THREE STEPS TO ECONOMIC FREEDOMThe ONLY thing under our FULL control is our mind and thought. By now, you are old enough to know that even mastering your mind and thoughts is a challenging task.The agro-sector requires your help, but you can help only if you want and believe the task is doable.Please think of the impact when the farmers, which are 50% of the working force in your country, will double their income within the next three years and continue doing this at a steady pace.The national impact of such professional and economic events is far more dramatic for your country’s economy, respect, and trust than ten millionaires increasing their fortune by $ 10M each from trading with natural resources.If you agree with the above and think that your country has already wasted and lost too many years, then the three steps path to prosperity is what you need. SUMMARY AND PERSPECTIVE(1) Self-accountability with a sense of urgency -* Do not wait for anyone to save you. The cavalry is not on the way. You, and only you, are responsible for your destiny. You can create the future you dream of. Believe in yourself.(2) Sharing and cooperating -* Accept with respect and appreciate the contribution of those who offer help and partnership. In general, act out of passion and desire to create and increase the good. Anger, anxiety, frustration, and hatred are non-constructive for that purpose.* Because we always think we bring more to the table than our partners, make sure it is so by bringing double than you think you should.* Be practical and cooperate with as many as possible, including those that once were your competitors and opposition.* You are not the center of the universe. Prioritize the needs of your partners over yours. You would thrive as long as your business partners are satisfied and feel comfortable. Take care of your national partners.(3) Business Model –* Forget about technologies, experts, and finance, because the secret to winning the game is a properly designed, field-tested, and results-proven Business Model. Using inappropriate Business Models, like the ones you are using now, is a plan for a sure failure.There is no way to underestimate the importance of proper business models. It is the foundation for the economic prosperity of every given industry and hence should be tailor-made per country and agro-industry as well (and then adjusted over time). Countries, like individuals, will prosper and thrive when they believe in themselves, cooperate with others, and have a proper plan to succeed.Blame no one but yourself if you didn’t achieve your goals.If you are sure about your steps forward, don't wait; go ahead and apply them.However, if you think the agro-sector in your country needs a different approach, but you are not sure about the “What” and “How," then contact me.|
|TAKEAWAYS» BELIEVE IN YOUR SELF – no change can occur if you don't want it and don't believe you can do it.» COOPERATION – if you want to go far, go together. You need foreign experts, investors, and business partners to advance the agro-industry in your country.» BUSINESS MODEL – as a rocket needs special fuel to reach the stars, to reach your goals, you need a tailor-made business model.|
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