Tim's Reviews > Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail

Out of Poverty by Paul Polak
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Jun 28, 09

Read in June, 2009

"Out of Poverty" by Paul Polak was an eye-opening book for me. The focus is on people around the globe making a dollar a day or less and also farms that were less than 5 acres.

The statistics in the book floored me. 85% of farms in the world, 445 million, are less than 5 acres. In China that percentage grows to 98%. My son-in-law and daughter are organic farmers with 8 acres of land they lease, but are currently using just a couple of acres. Helping out a little there has helped me see the tremendous amount of work they put in to get a few crops to sell.

Mr. Polak's idea to help the poor is simple: Help them make more money. Not by a hand out, but by a hand up. Produce inexpensive products that are designed specifically for small enterprises and farms. Sell them tools that are affordable for their dollar a day income that will triple or quadruple their income quickly. His company "International Development Enterprises" (IDE) has been doing this for twenty-five years. His methods are not in line with the international community trying to solve poverty in the world, but they work. From one acre farms to sidewalk dwellers in the poorest slums, IDE is finding ways to help people work smarter and bring themselves and their families out of extreme poverty.

For anyone who is interested in the eradication of poverty and hunger around the world, this is a must read book to see solutions in a much different light.

Simply,

Tim
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