Make planting rice fun
(The Philippine Star) - January 1, 2016 - 9:00am

“Planting rice is never fun, bent from morning ‘til the set of sun; cannot sit, cannot stand, cannot rest for a little bit.”

These lines from a national ditty holds true to farmers. Time was when farmers thrived on it for livelihood. Not any more. What we see today are farmers shying away from the fields owing to the non-profitability of farming where the money they make is way disproportionate to their back-breaking labor.

The situation is lamentable. What we see today is the downtrend of enrollment in agri schools which may result in less food production.

This poses a grave threat to the viability of the industry which in turn will aggravate social unrest, poverty and hunger.

Rather than enroll in agri schools, today’s prospective young farmers opt to take courses that will land them white collar jobs or jobs abroad.

The question is how can the country arrest the dwindling of farms hands?

For starters, the government must create measures that will bring about stable income for farmers and encourage prospective farmers to go to agri schools.

The government must put a break on food smuggling, rice particularly.

It must build farm-to-markets roads for faster access to consumers.

People suspect some in government encourage rice smuggling to the detriment of the agri industry because it is where the money is.

Food storage facilities must also be built to secure harvest.

More importantly, the government must strive to lower the cost of food production.

Make farmers proud — it is they who feed the people. — GONZALO CATAN JR., agriculturist and entomologist

ACIRC AGRI FARMERS FOOD GOVERNMENT RICE SCHOOLS TODAY
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