Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly does GSR do?
GSR helps rural communities to incorporate, then enters into joint venture agreements with these village corporations, puts together a development master plan with them, and works to execute this plan. GSR supplies capital, training and assistance in marketing agricultural goods. The community supplies the land, manpower, and local management. Net profits after repaying the original investment money (amortized over 10 years) are used to steadily improve standards of food clothing, shelter, education and health care in the community and to extend the local economic network to neighboring communities
How can a village become a business?
Why not? The incorporation process is simple with all legal costs covered by GSR. All it requires is 100% buy in from the people in the community. Such complete buy-in might seem problematic in the US, where people tend to have many choices and do not need to cooperate closely with their neighbors. However, it is quite reasonable to expect unanimous consent in those parts of the world where rural communities are poverty stricken and there are no other opportunities,
Why should a village incorporate?
When a village works together as a corporation, this effectively levels the playing field and makes it possible for the corporation members to compete effectively In the global economy. Millions of small farmers are leaving their villages every year to find work in the cities. This is out of desperation - no one wants to live in a filthy urban slum. If there was work in their village, these people would stay. Therefore, even if GSR was only marginally viable, it would be a great step forward. But the fact is that this business model is potentially one of the most lucrative business opportunities on the planet.
Why does GSR consider this business opportunity to be so big?
With the global population steadily expanding, food is a growth industry. Small holders currently own about 80% of the planet’s arable land. By using amrut mitthi farming methods, each acre of arable land can sustainably produce as much as $10,000 of produce per year. A 5000 acre community can produce enough crops to feed itself and still sell over $10 million of surplus crops each year. Revenues can be further enhanced by developing local value added processing industries (such as edible oil mills, grain processing and a myriad of other food products) By networking with nearby village corporations, a local economy with revenues over $1B is possible. GSR plans to build thousands of such networks. IN Nigeria alone, the government Ministry of Agriculture states that there is about 125,000,000 acres of unused arable land. This is enough to build over 18,000 GSR communities, with a projected potential annual income over $360 Billion.
What stages does the GSR development process go through?
Stage 1 - initial assessment - GSR determines the capital requirements, potential profitability, and the willingness of local community to work together as partners with GSR in a joint venture.
Stage 2 – Master Plan development - The village is legally registered as a corporation, secures land title and hires local workers to begin preparing the land and infrastructure.
Stage 3 –Implementing the Master Plan. GSR trainers teach cutting edge organic farming methods to local farmers that enable farmers to triple or quadruple previous harvests per acre. Fertilizer, organic insecticides are produced locally. Warehousing and irrigation systems are put in place.
Stage 4 – Sell Surplus products - The GSR marketing team finds buyers for the surplus left after local requirements are met. 25% of profits go to GSR as repayment of the original investment. The balance is invested in further local development per the Master plan
Stage 5 – Local Management Training - Within a few years, the local management team will be the de facto managers of the corporation, and when the corporation buys out GSR, they will be running everything themselves.
Stage 6 – Exit Strategy- Profits from sale of locally produced products enables the village corporation to buy out GSR. GSR will invest these funds to expand the model to 20 or 30 neighboring communities, and eventually build a local economy network with potential revenues over $1 Billion.
Why GSR is organized as a business - not a charity?
Unlike charities, businesses must be profitable to be successful. Non profits typically focus on short term projects – a well here, a kitchen there, a road passing through an impoverished region. Such isolated projects rarely result in any sustained improvement in quality of life for the local community. GSR has concluded that the best way to guarantee positive results is with a proper business plan to develop the entire local economy, developed in partnership with the local communities, and to invest enough money to make that plan work. The development process should rely on local materials, infrastructure and workers as far as possible.
But some of GSR's activities seem very charitable...
Local prosperity means increasing profits – for everyone. When the local economy moves from zero to $1 Billion per year, it’s a win-win situation, but it’s not really charity. It’s good business!
What are the typical costs and expected profits for a GSR project?
A typical GSR project will require a capital outlay of $5 Million, immediately ensuring full employment for the community of 5000 people, After a 3 – 5 year ramp up, the project should have gross revenues of as much as $10 Million.
What does “green self reliance” mean? Why is it important?
If a job, or an economy is not “green” it simply is not sustainable. If a person is not self-reliant, by definition this means they must rely on others for their livelihood. Total absolute self reliance may not be possible in this world. Humans are social creatures. We need to be able to depend on others, but at least we can choose whom to be reliant on. Should it be on the government that constantly changes its laws and may look out for the interests of more powerful people first? Or on a company that can “let you go” the minute they feel they can not get enough value from you? GSR has found that the most practical form of self-reliance is reliance on our community, and thus focuses on building village corporations that offer security and prosperity to all its members.
What benefits do individuals get by being part of a GSR community
The village corporation ensures jobs for everyone, training to improve productivity (and thus income) a guaranteed market for products, access to capital to build a small business, free health care, free education and vocational training. A community of 5000 people, working together like a corporation is able to compete in the highly competitive global market ,and in fact enjoys a competitive advantage against large multi-national competitors. This makes it possible for corporation members to enjoy a lifestyle equivalent to what would cost $40,000 or more in the big city.
How “green” is GSR? Are there any environmental benefits?
A GSR community has a carbon negative footprint, and can sequester as much as 60,000 tons of carbon into the soil each year. Amrut mitthi agricultural methods pull carbon that would otherwise go into the atmosphere as a pollutant and place it in the soil where it super enriches the soil and makes possible a tripling of harvests. Besides improving the air quality, GSR’s permaculture systematically revives soil plagued by desertification, erosion and overabundance of dangerous chemicals. Multiply these benefits by 1,000,000- the number of communities GSR projects within 10 years. The aggregate soil revitalization and sequestration levels are then significant.
Will GSR’s success have any positive impact on reversing climate change?
When GSR achieves it medium range target of establishing 200,000 financially viable carbon negative communities, the total amount of carbon sequestration should be about 18 gigatons per year. While this is far greater than any carbon sequestration project developed so far, it is estimated that we must sequester an estimated 2000 gigatons of carbon to reach preindustrial levels of carbon in the atmosphere. GSR calculates that given the financial viability of its model, it will be copied by large numbers of people, making possible a sequestration level of 100 gigtons per year. Even at this elevated level, it will take over 20 years to repair the damage to our environment (that is if no more carbon is dumped into the atmosphere). Even in the most ideal conditions, this healing will take time.
How does the GSR “green” economy benefit local people?
All energy used locally is renewable and practically pollution free. Because people work, shop, study and play within walking distance, and because 90% of everything they use is produced locally, car and truck transport is drastically reduced. Besides better air quality, its nice to have a 5 minute (walking) commute. Another benefit is complete social security – including guaranteed employment and free health care, free nutritious meals, free child care services, free education and training services. Farmers do not have divide their labor between farming and selling their crops – all marketing is done by the Coop Marketing Services. For people that want to start businesses, once it is approved by the Corporation Board (composed of their peers), they will have access to business loans and financial services.
What can I do to help?
egister for our free newsletter. Tell us what you think. If you have special skills and would like to work with us, let’s talk! If you don’t have special talents, but are willing to learn, GSR can train you. If you would like to invest in GSR projects, keep in mind that this investment will help thousands of people achieve sustainable middle class prosperity without damaging the environment