Many children in metropolis or urban areas grow up thinking that produce and meat are miraculously available at supermarkets or grocery stores. These commodities are transported from farms in rural areas. Without farmers, the people of the world will starve.
What are the basic needs of farmers?
- Land. More and more agricultural lands are sacrificed for “land development”. There is nothing wrong with land development or building warehouses, factories, or houses. Designated large areas designated as agricultural must remain agricultural.
- Irrigation. Productivity depends on irrigation. Long term productivity depends on deep wells. The initial cost of drilling the well and establishing the irrigation system is the problem. This is where the government can step in with a long term loan at 0% interest rate. It is not a hand-out. A hands-up is what the farmers need from the government. In rural areas where the energy grid is not available, sustainable solar or wind generators can be installed. Again it can be financed by the government through a long term loan at 0% interest rate. No government can sustain itself without farmers. One way or another the food supply must come from farmers.
- Farm equipment. Without farm equipment only a small patch of land can be farmed. Farm equipment are necessary. The department of agriculture can work with farm equipment vendors and banks to help the farmer get farm equipment at reasonable prices and at a low interest rate.
- Seeds and Seedlings. Usually farmers have their own seeds. But on some occasions seeds are needed and again the seeds or seedlings must be made available by the government at reasonable prices.
- There are always new variety of rice and corn seeds that can help production.
- There is a lot of help needed in the farming of Cacao, Coffee, Cassava and Agal-Agal (Seaweed)
- Fertilizer. Instead of giving middlemen the opportunity to gouge farmers, the government should step in and regulate the prices of commercial fertilizers sold in bulk to farmers.
- Pest control. Ditto on the fertilizers. Pest control prices must also be monitored and controlled by government. Middlemen are just waiting like vultures to take advantage of the farmers.
- Fowl, Fish, and Mammal farming. The produce of the farmers will symbiotically help the production of meat products. Fish farmers are having difficulty due to availability of feeds. Same is true form the production of fowl and mammals for human consumption.
- Distribution. Farm to market roads must be built by the government. Without proper roads, the farmers have difficulty getting their harvest to market. Many times this forces the farmer to lower his productivity. Because, what is the point in producing plenty when the harvest can’t reach the market on time.
- Education. Seminars must be provided by the department of agriculture on a yearly basis. To inform the farmers of new farming innovations and market conditions.
Farmers are hard working people. They love the land. They love nature. They are hands on with mother earth.