Book #2: Smart Capitalism, Smart Science, Smart System

2 smart17 March 2009-07 December 2012[1]

It’s a book, it’s science, it’s a system.

A revolution devours its own children, doesn’t it? This one was devouring individualism, self-doubt, aimlessness, helplessness. A smart revolution. And I didn’t know about it until 9 years after it began at the turn of the millennium in 2000.

ICRISAT, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, has just published my 2nd book, THE SMART REVOLUTION with the subtitle ICRISAT Partners in Research for Development.
This is the content of the book:

(1) Bill Gates, Nobel Prize For Economics 2008! Well He inspires US To Creative Science
(2) Rated O Twice! When Drought Comes, Can ICRISAT Be Far Behind?
(3) Water Lessons Of Adarsha. Learning Began With What Scientists Didn’t Know
(4) 2nd Red Revolution. Red Nuts Grow On Badlands
(5) Grammar Of Global Warming. MSN Encarta Gets A Science Explainer Award
(6) The Green Elephant Of India. Understanding The Parables Of Buddha, Jesus, Science
(7) Elementary, Pastor Watson. Georgia Prays For Rain, I Pray For Reason
(8) Atlas Blogged! Climate Change In UK, Then In UP, Then In US?
(9) You Have To Believe. On The Poor In Science, The Poor In Faith
(10) Family Affairs. Having Done Well, ICRISAT Must Do Better!
(11) Waiting For Godot? Climate Changes People While The Yankees Dawdle
(12) Jatropha Math? Science Serves The People When Media Create Critical Mass Content, Not Discontent
(13) The Indian Rainmakers. To Pray For Rain, Build A Pond & Get Rid Of The Witch Doctor
(14) American Corn. Funny How George W Bush’s Biofuel Trap Invades Our Animal Planet And We Go Ape
(15) New Gaia Hypothesis. No Rules, No Borders, No Limits, No Wheels?
(16) The Smart Revolution. Ethanol Corn Or Sugarcane? ‘Sweet Sorghum Is Smart’ – William Dar, ICRISAT
(17) To Harvest The Sun. To Sow The Wind And Reap The Whirlwind
(18) Grey-To-Green Revolution. 2 Launchings, 2 Models, 2 Tactics
(19) Lesson Of The Water Cycle. And Don’t Make Hay While The Sun Shines!
(20) The Drylanders. Short-Term Crisis, Long-Range Solution. Excellent!
(21) The Water People. May Their Tribe Increase!
(22) Where’s The Water? NASA, Where's The Life?
(23) The Little People. Creative Capitalism Needs Risk Takers In Science
(24) Science Grounded. 1 Worm Of Many Guises Unmasked & Crushed
(25) Science 4-Way Test. If It Tests Good, I Must Be In The Drylands
(26) William Dar Dares. The 4 Elements Of Team ICRISAT’s Success

You have to read the essays yourself to appreciate them. I can’t summarize my own book because each essay is meant to be read as a whole, as written.

In any case, this is how the book looks at The Smart Revolution:

It’s the crop.
You must plant a crop that is tolerant of stress: drought, hot temperature, disease, pest, or waterlogging. if there is such a crop tolerant of all those, it's the sweet sorghum from the breeding & selection efforts of ICRISAT.

It’s the water.
You must conserve water. You must harvest the rain for your crops and replenish the underground water you have been over-tapping for decades. You have to practice intermittent irrigation, or irrigate alternate furrows.

It’s the soil.
You must build the soil of your field so that it becomes rich again after harvest. A vermicompost is a good example of soil enricher. You must protect the soil from erosion, so you have to add to the organic matter content to keep the soil particles together.

It’s the fertilizer.
You must save on fertilizer. ICRISAT experts are teaching us to apply only a 3-finger pinch of fertilizer per hill, which saves you about 9 bags of fertilizer for every 10 that you used to buy. ICRISAT calls it micro-dosing.

It’s the people.
The poor farmers must help themselves. They receive all kinds of support, but in the end they are being taught only how to fish, not simply given fish to eat. Even Jesus Christ showed Peter and the fishermen how to fish, not give them the fish to eat.

It’s the partners.
While ICRISAT may be the #1 center of the CGIAR, what it has accomplished so far is because the Institute has been working with partners from government and the private sector, businessmen and non-government organizations.

It’s the team.
While William Dar may be the best Team Captain ICRISAT has ever had, there is no team without team members. They are the ones who do the dirty work. The followers must follow; the leader must lead.

It’s the creative capitalists.
The best example I can think of is Bill Gates of Microsoft fame and fortune. His Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been funding projects implemented by ICRISAT by the millions of dollars. And what does he get out of it? Just thank yous.

It’s the local government.
There must always be active local government support in the application of science by means of policies and political will expressed in budget allocation. Science cannot drive itself, but the State can. It has to.

It’s the Vision.
The vision is for millions of Africans and Asians to rise out of poverty by 2020. It's a grand vision, but if you don't dream it, you won't see it.

It’s the Mission.
Actually, The Smart Revolution is IOTA: It’s all of the above. A grand vision must be accompanied by a grand plan. The Green Revolution was waged for the farmers by scientists, source and service companies, and the system. The poor farmers remained poor, and the environment was impoverished. The mission of the Smart Revolution is to provide the structure, system and support for self-reliance - so that the poor farmers can enrich themselves as well as their environment.

[1] This is my 2nd book published by ICRISAT early 2009. The book review that I started to write on 17 March 2009 and left half-finished the next day, with the many subheads full of intent but empty of content, is now going to be finished today, almost 4 years later. I had forgotten all about it until today when I searched for my review of my own books to upload to this new blog, The Asian BookMaker. The title of the book is THE SMART REVOLUTION - it wasn't smart to forget it, but it is smart to remember.

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