It is an information age and we are on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but to me Agriculture is the key to the good life.
The status of our agriculture in its bloom or gloom is directly proportionate to our human development index. The stagnating agriculture sector is apparent and obvious in the backdrop of high prices of many agricultural products. The Onion as they say creates tears when your eyes is infused with the chemical it emits. Right now our lachrymal glands will tear up due to its price. The rice which is yearned by the current administration to be P20 /kg is nothing close to it, the lowest i saw was 39 for commercial rice . I have bought ginger roots at 10 per 3-4 inches roots and never mind asking how much is one kilogram, i am certain i cannot afford them. The sweet banana we call as Costa , not the Lakatan variety was at 40/kg at the rate of how things are going we are not getting near the promised land of low prices in agricultural reality.
The problems can be attributed to a lot of things including unclear or unsound policies in the agriculture industry, lack of infrastructure to support agriculture and even the cultural and people’s avoidance to any thing farming or agriculture. Simply , our students, people and professionals are shying away from the agriculture scene in whatever ways they can. In their minds it is not for professionals nor learned people to tinker with, they go for the considered high brows or sosyal, beyond and away from agriculture.
As a country with immense agriculture potential , we are aware of that fact . Indeed , from the early onset of our nation’history we are primarily depending on agriculture and enjoying its fruits in terms of crop viability. We had International Rice Research Institute where rice farmers from Thailand, Vietnam were trained. We are effective at that so much so that we are already importing rice from these countries.
The largest debacle perhaps is the fact that the countryside is oozing witnh potential for cash crops but everyone is looking the other way. We are leaving our fertile lands idle and unused, we are importing everything when we can harvest our own.
The main challenge is for us to finally see that the Greens can bring in Green bucks . Plants can bring in money and prosperity. When we finakly recognize that and harness these potential , then we can have fiod sufficiency and in the long run, real progress.