Bad habit of importing rice-A A +A
By Ben Emata
From Across the Seas
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I THINK our country since it was re-discovered by Magellan has been importing rice already from other countries specifically from Vietnam and Thailand.
But, why? Why are we buying rice from other countries when we can have them locally if we use our initiative appropriately? Just recently, the National Food Authority (NFA) imported some 100,000 metric tons of the cereal. We have been doing this ever since and certainly I am wondering why this is happening. We have wide field as far as our eyes can see but why are we failing to produce our own food?
What is happening to our government? What are our farmers doing? Can we not produce this staple right in our rice fields in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao? As far as I can remember, it was only during the time of Pres. Marcos that we were able to produce enough rice for our people. But it did not last long and the ugly habit of importing rice from our neighbor countries returned to normal. This is just unfortunate and very surprising in a country like ours where this simple thing can be produced locally. It is very annoying to think about this failure of our government to reach this point.
What perplexed me so well is the fact that our country is advance in the method of agriculture and we have so many agricultural graduates coming from state colleges and universities. We have enough land spaces scattered throughout the archipelago and still we have to buy rice from our neighbors. What is happening to our plan and policy on this regard? We have the so-called rice granary in the country but now it is silent and could not explain the failure. I am definite something is wrong or missing somewhere which we must trace to solve once and for all the problem of lack of rice in our land.
Why can’t we improve our system of producing rice? We have farmers everywhere but we failed to give them the necessary support. Many of them just stay in cockpit arenas and other gambling places to while their time. We have to compel them to go to the open field and use our modern facilities and machines to produce the staple. We must encourage the farmers to do more work in the field. Teach them how to engage in modern culture and technology of agricultural productions. People involved in farm ventures should be given financial support to encourage them to work harder.
In the very beginning, I am apprehensive of the world situation. Suppose there is a breakdown of world peace and countries big and small engage in war thus stopping connection or exchanges of communications then we shall all die of hunger. When these countries supplying us of rice could not do it for us, what will happen is we collapse to the ground and die.
What we need is to be able to supply our country with rice enough for our people. We should do this to maintain life right in our country without the help of other nations. We must make it a top priority to produce our own food rather than look up at other places to help us.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 02, 2013.