Biag di Gardinero, II

Here’s a music video on the lives of vegetable farmers. Because Pagano’s comment (in our first post on vegetable farmers here) is directly related to the subject of this video, we decided to publish his comment here in the main page. Thanks Pagano.

Pagano on the lives of vegetable farmers:
The situation for highland vegetable farmers has always been similar with that of gamblers, or maybe just a little worse for the farmers. They sow the seeds and tend to them till they are fit to harvest. (This last sentence over-simplifies the whole gardening process — the endless hours of labor, the never ending expenses, plus the psychological pain that accompanies the gardening endeavour, i.e., pests attack, the weather gets uncooperative, Gloria is still not resigning, etc, etc…)

Come harvest time, one might imagine that the farmer should now be given his just compensation, but no. The selling is beyond his control and it is really up to the gods if they allow the market forces to work in the farmer’s favor. It’s not seldom that the farmer actually gets more indebted when the sale is not enough to cover the vehicle rental if he had to rent one. Imagine that! All the months of hard work and he is now fully in debt.

It would have been better if he just allowed his plants to rot or he shouldn’t have wasted his time on his garden plots. He should have just slept the entire time. He should have used the money to gamble – the risks, I think, would be practically even with gardening.

Sure, economics should be allowed to play its course; let the law of supply and demand prevail over the market. But couldn’t our poor farmers be given a fairer deal? In other countries, subsidizing the farmers is the norm. The debate in some parliaments in these countries would actually center on whether to subsidize the area of the lot planted or the actual production from said lot. Either way, the farmer is assured of a decent income. We can only turn green with envy.

RELATED POST: Biag di Gardinero. VIDEO CREDITS: Aguilar Matsi and Rafael Manuel Jr; performance and composition by Joseph Pasigon.

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