We know too well that rice is the staple food of many people. It is considered as one primary source of energy for our body. That is why many of our people, particularly those engaged in manual labor, would look for rice more than any other food. Farmers and laborers are sustained by the staple even with less viand for their meals. This group of workers could not withstand a day’s labor without eating ample amount of the staple.

But other workers or even those who are not engage in productive occupation are similarly dependent on rice as basic food. It may be because we are made to grow on rice beginning from infancy that we develop dependency on rice. It seems tough to depart from what we have grown and lived with all our lives. It is the primary food that had been implanted in our consciousness to the point that we starve for it and remain feeling hungry without it.

The greatest irony is while we have been trained to grow by rice, many of us had not been trained to grow rice. Its being implanted in our consciousness as the basic food is not coupled with the consciousness to plant that food which we are to grow of. We had in short been engrossed in a culture that depends on rice as our staple food but production seems not part of the culture. In fact, those engaged in the production of the staple are exploited in many ways and hardly reap the fruits of their labor.

The people who live by the sweat of their brows and the mud on their feet are unwilling victims of an unjust social order where they remain captives living on the bondage of the soil. The exploiters among the rich and powerful, those who have the capital needed to produce rice, are the ones getting the huge chunk of the profits from the rice industry.

While faced with this real inequity, many of our farmers are realizing the difficulty of their living, pushing them to aim or just dream from being freed out of the chains of their impoverishment. This explains why they work too hard to see their offspring who are to succeed them, earn education and acquire other skills that would bring them financial freedom. The trend of farmers’ children trying to take painstaking sacrifices to be educated and be at par in the global competition is epic.

That has been so in so many decades and we have success stories of professionals reaping the best the world can offer for their once impoverished situation. We take pride and are happy with such inspiring tales but we miss so much of the most important message it sends to all and sundry aside from the lessons of hard work and proving the adage that poverty is not a hindrance to success.
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