ACCEPTANCE OF THE AGFUND PRIZE in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
President of the AGFUND, represented by HRH Prince Turki,
Honorable Prime Minister of Malaysia
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Mohammed Yunus & distinguished members of the Prize Committee and the Board
It is my great honor to represent IDE (International Development Enterprises) to receive this award for IDE’s PRISM approach. PRISM stands for Prosperity Realization through Irrigation and Smallholders Markets (PRISM)”.
IDE’s preoccupation for the last 30 years has been to generate additional income inside poor households in development country locations. It is our experience that nothing creates the opportunities for improved food security, children’s education, household health and general livelihoods better than increased household income. We believe that these households know best how to allocate their increased incomes.
IDE has been a pioneer in the distribution of irrigation technologies through market mechanisms. Our stance is to treat poor people as customers. It is a position of respect.
The PRISM insight is that the purchase of a treadle pump or a drip system or a diesel pumpset is not fundamentally a purchase of hardware – bamboo, metal, plastic and wood. Rather, it is the purchase of an income stream.
35 years ago Economist John Kenneth Galbraith said: “Very few poor, disadvantaged families can imagine a better future.” Today it is different. I would like to tell you a brief story. In Myanmar, IDE promotes treadle pumps to 50 cents/day farmers. One of our approaches is to demonstrate these pumps in a village, where farmers are encouraged to try them out. On one occasion an elderly farmer got on, started pumping, and refused to give other farmers a chance. At one point he turned to them and said: “Leave me alone. I am dreaming of my future!”
So if our farmer customers are purchasing an income stream, the intent of the PRISM methodology is one which looks upstream from the farmer to address supply opportunities and constraints, and which looks downstream to the market opportunities available for the production grown with those irrigation technologies.
IDE listens to the Voice of its Customers, and responds with a series of methodological options which enhance the value stream that smallholder customers are located inside. It is the PRISM approach, and it works.
On behalf of our board and CEO Al Doerksen, IDE thanks the AgFund for this award. It is our intent to apply these funds in keeping with the PRISM approach to expand our current reach and impact in Bangladesh.
Once again, Thank you for this great honor.