Albert Sadeh

Albert Sadeh

The first ambassador of agriculture in Africa tells us…

It embodies the culture of agriculture.

Sadeh: field in Hebrew, his pseudonym is worth all the synonyms. Coming straight from France, just after the foundation of the new state, on a historic boat, Albert Sadeh knew the agriculture of heroic times well: the one where all the land was only desert and a model still in its infancy. As soon as he arrived in Israel, he became a farmer and immediately became an actor in what would become a few years later the benchmark for performance: a horizontal and vertical integrated production and distribution system. He was quickly noticed for his knowledge and skills by the Minister of Agriculture and by Golda Meir, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, in person. He became the promoter and ambassador to French-speaking African countries of the avant-garde techniques of Israeli agriculture. Today, listening to him tell his odyssey is like reliving the great adventure of this agriculture.

I met Albert at his house in a charming village north of Tel Aviv. The windows of her house overlook strawberry fields. The bougainvilleas and trees of Judea adorn the streets. Everyone knows everyone else. Albert is very happy, at 80 years old he has an incredible joie de vivre. His wife paints and their interior exudes serenity. This smiling “young man” had an exceptional life. A survivor of anti-Semitism in France during the war, he loved life in the open air and plunging his hands into the ground, breathing the air in the early morning. His love for his neighbour motivated him all his life and he was embarked on teaching young Africans from the former French colonies the secrets of agriculture to help them get their countries out of food shortage. Thanks to his expertise and dedication, he created very close diplomatic ties between Israel and Africa. He was in a way a second ambassador. Listening to him in this report will give you in a few words the secret of “what it means to be Israeli”.