People wonder why we are lacking in rice supply despite our country being home of top agricultural universities and agricultural professionals and scientists. One factor being considered for this national malady is the depletion of arable lands that are now being converted to other uses. There are vast hectares of rice fields being converted to commercial, industrial and residential uses, not to mention recreational, the kind that are used for golf courses.

We certainly are not wanting in sports and recreation suited to our needs. There are lots of sports we can indulge in that are not beyond our means to enjoy. Unfortunately, the elite and powerful in our society are lured to expensive sports like golf that is played by rich and famous people in other countries. Those who are into such sport may argue that the game is not too costly and is in fact affordable to them. But more than the cost of playing the game is the greater cost of sacrificing tracts of land that could be used to for producing food that could feed the population.

A different view looks at the growing population as cause for the inadequacy of rice. But is not every man given the capability to be productive even just to answer for his daily needs? No matter the population as long as it is made productive to produce its basic needs, hunger would not be a problem. It is when the greater number remains unproductive and dependent on a small sector of working and productive.

But how can we expect the population to become a productive workforce when it is confined in fixated social inequities that kills the motivation and vigor to produce goods, particularly through farming. We have seen the cruel inequities that our farmers are made as unwilling victims of. The man who toils to produce food is never given the opportunity to rise above the muddy soil. They fall victims to unjust wages that could not even meet the basic needs of the family. These sector of the population who labor for the food that the entire population consume are luckless in getting government support, that is why they fall victims to usurious loans from capitalists who rake in the greater earnings.

The situation is truly discouraging and government is continually missing to address the problem. Its recent realization about the lack of farmlands for food production ought to have been discovered long ago. While it takes what it may deem as appropriate steps to increase farm areas, partly by halting the counterproductive conversion of agricultural lands to other uses. The decrease of farmlands continues and the diminishing farmhands is getting worse as well.

Our country had long been engaged in labor exportation and our young working population being lured into high-paying foreign jobs in the fields of technology, construction, nursing and medicine. The exodus of our skilled and industrious workforce will surely cause a lack of people who will till the soil. The low and unjust wages and the exploited situation that our farmers suffer from is a great push that drives our people away from the bondage of the soil. Even with adequate farmlands, we may not have enough farmhands to produce the food that we need in order to live.
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