Idle agricultural lands
Touring the Samar Island could make one realize how idle a lot of its lands are instead of them being planted to wholesome and useful plants. Mountains and plains of grass, bald hills, stinking swamps, and numerous terrains yield nothing at all, far from being productive.
Seemingly, people who have access to the soil are not planting the desired crops the way they should, allowing agricultural lands to go idle. We often wonder, with criticism, knowing that much could be produced and hunger could be eased up if only they would turn these lands to lush plantations of various crops.
But people in these areas have their own reasons for not being productive and, in a way, some of their reasons make sense. We might as well contribute any solution to the problems they cite relative to their seeming refusal to go productive.
For instance, farmers tilling the lands would argue that they don’t own the lands. Why plant beyond what is needed when the land is not theirs, anyway? It sounds wise, on their part, the argument suggestive of landlord-tenant conflict which is very common in many parts of the country today. How this conflict which is basically anti-development could be solved is an age-old query.
Some farmers would say they cannot plant that much because of the absence or lack of the needed seeds or seedlings. Most often, their problem is not on the absence of planting materials, but their lack of money in buying those materials, citing poverty as the main reason for planting less or nothing at all. It is for this reason that financial grants are sometimes extended to them just to solve the problem.
Sometimes, peasant farmers run into trouble with the landowner when they plant productively. They get misunderstood as though they are claiming ownership and authority over the land by way of expanding what they might claim to be theirs. To avoid this clash, tenants would rather that they just leave the lands bare of plants than to run the risk of being ejected from the land they are allowed to till.
Another reason cites thieves and robbers as the culprits that prevent the farmers and landowners from making their lands productive. This makes sense as well because one cannot be guarding over his plantation of whatever sort all the time. It would be a waste of time and effort planting something that will just be harvested by others come the harvest season. One would rather that the land would yield nothing than to have his investment wasted.
The greatest reason of people for not planting enough is laziness. They keep this to themselves, though, not quite bent on admitting their indolence. But though they won’t admit it, it clearly shows—people are just too lazy to cover the lands with useful vegetations necessary to appease our hunger. Many of their reasons boil down to one thing—they are just being lazy.
Actually, plenty of productive and useful plants could be planted to help us enjoy abundance. But people are skeptical and, yes, too lazy to make use of the soil they are gifted with. We wish people would realize this especially now that we rely much on imported agricultural products. The plant that we thrust into the earth could sustain our lives.
By: Doms Pagliawan
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