MEMBERS of the country’s “working class,” and acknowledged as the creator of wealth in society,
Filipino farmers are always at the mercy of moneyed traders and middlemen.
It is one of the cruelest ironies of our time that farmers should find themselves more often
than not deprived of even the barest necessities for daily survival because of poverty.
That’s why the Department of Agriculture (DA) is launching a “unique revolution” aimed at
“liberating” the country’s suffering farmers from the clutches of middlemen and traders.
DA Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Pinol said the government is now devising programs that will
capacitate farmers from plowing and planting to harvesting, drying, milling and marketing.
“We are starting a revolution that aims to liberate farmers from the control of traders and
middlemen. Farmers should gain fairly for their labor and sacrifices,” said Pinol, a former governor
of North Cotabato.
“Talagang kawawa kaming mga magsasaka. Kami’y baon na baon sa utang samantalang ang mga
negosyante ay lalong yumayaman,” lamented a rice farmer in Pindangan East, Alcala, Pangasinan.
“Kami ang may-ari ng lupa pero lumalabas na kami’y mga katulong lang ng mga negosyante sa laki
ng kinikita nila sa pagbili ng aming mga inaaning palay, mais at gulay,” the farmer added.
As a farmer himself, Pinol, a retired newspaperman, knows the various problems confronting the
country’s farmers, who find it hard to send their children to college due to poverty.
Aside from declining harvests due to adverse weather conditions, our farmers are also bothered
by the rising costs of everything in this impoverished nation of more than 100 million people.
Thus, Pinol is on the right track in starting a revolution designed to liberate the farmers
from the control of traders and middlemen.