IDE is a twenty seven year old organization focused on small farming as the way ahead for people in rural poverty around the world. Paul Polak, IDE founder, explained how technology tools plus a guiding idea accomplished that: For example, with the Treadle Pump and farmers’ own time/money invested, farmers greatly increase their irrigation capacity as well as their motivation to grow more crops. The pump costs only $25 dollars but earns at least $100 profit in the first year of use.
Polak’s institute not only sells the farming tools but also a structure for marketing these same tools to bigger numbers of farmers. So it’s much different from a usual charity. Farmers who buy the tools learn technology and the business of selling at the same time. It’s very smart and I think a lot of innovation at one time. In this way Polak proves he really does care about the other 90%.