Blaming others and their past actions had been the easy excuse for this administration’s failure to produce enough rice for its people. Top officials had identified many unidentifiable excuses that they thought could be blamed for the current situation. One thought had to do with the reduction of farmlands owing to the conversion of rice fields to commercial, industrial and residential uses. Many arable lands had in fact been developed into subdivisions to accommodate people whose want is to be home in areas near their workplaces. It is man’s want to get rid of strenuous travels from work to home that push them to look for home sites near their workplaces. In urban centers where work opportunities are aplenty, people would try utilizing the most accessible land even if not suitable for residential purposes.
There might be truth to such observation as many industries are established in what used to be agricultural lands. The natural offshoot is the establishment of home sites in such areas, taking up huge tracts to satisfy the need. But even with such developments, there still are so much agricultural areas left for farming. Our vast lands are still larger than those of our neighbor countries where we now depend for our rice supply. It seems not much a factor that some areas had been converted to other uses for in fact, there are still a lot of idle lands that are ideal for farming but are not being utilized for food production.
The conversion of farmlands into homesites to accommodate the housing projects of wealthy home developers had diminished the areas for rice production. There too are industrial areas had caused the land use for agriculture into manufacturing and factory sites in the guise of labor intensive enterprises that are gradually employing machines than workers. There indeed is a need to give a new direction to government programs and projects that would truly address the socio-economic condition of the impoverished lot instead of diverting public attention.
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