The Dov Center isn’t only Niger’s first horticultural center of excellence, it’s a new chapter in the powerful story of one man’s life. It is also a testament to the hope and benefits that Israeli agricultural expertise can bring, even in the most challenging settings.
Professor Dov Pasternak was a driving force behind Israel’s agricultural revolution. A leading agricultural scientist, he led Ben Gurion University’s Institute for Agriculture and Applied Biology and consulted in dozens of countries throughout the world. Having witnessed and shaped Israel’s agricultural transformation he turned his sights on the Sahel where he spent the last 18 years of his life helping subsistence farmers.
The Dov Center is a hugely exciting initiative borne of a partnership between Eliminate Poverty NOW, Pencils for Kids and LIBO. It trains high school graduates to become the extension officers of tomorrow and, in keeping with Dov’s focus on income security, it promotes farming methods that generate double the average income for Niger. It is estimated that each graduate from the Dov Center will impact some 1500 lives. It is hard to overstate the transformative effects of this initiative: Niger ranks last in the UN’s 2020 Human Development Index and 80% of its population are subsistence farmers.
We are excited to announce that we will be supporting the work of the Dov Center. Working in close partnership with the Center’s leadership, our experts will be developing a curriculum that provides impactful solutions to the key challenges faced by Nigerien farmers.
We are proud to be simultaneously contributing to Dov’s legacy and pursuing our mission by harnessing Israel’s hard-won expertise and innovations for the benefit of those who need it the most.