[ad lib] This had been written many months ago, but I was so busy doing something close to nothing, but different than the day before – Raspberry Beret by Prince
Gas price keeps getting higher. Fare is getting higher. Carbon emission is getting higher. Lots of country are doing their best to minimize the impact of high fuel price and are doing lots of research for biofuels.
It was about a year ago when one of our senators balked at the idea to make food crops as biofuels. Said she was worried that this might mean decrease in food shortage for the whole country.
Today, our country has both. High fuel price and high food price, particularly rice. Why? They say that we have a rice shortage. That's really a come on. I mean, the Philippines having a rice shortage?
February of this year we have a long queue of people lining up to purchase rice from NFA (National Food Authority) at Php 18.00 per kilo, and each person is only allowed to purchase two kilos. There were tempers, shoving and some hair pulling on that daily queue which has lasted till September.
Back to the question. Do we really have a rice shortage?
One colleague of mine says that there is no shortage. It was just some way to divert our attention from the ZTE Deal. Another one whose wife works for the NFA says that harvest is plenty but the rice warehouse are almost always empty. Another one who once worked for the Pampanga Agro-Industrial Development Fund (PAIDF) says there's plenty really, but the harvest goes to some rice cartel.
Let's concentrate on the latter two.
Harvest a-plenty, warehouse a-empty, cartels' a-richy
And it goes a little something like this... hit it!
- I plant rice, I need fertilizer, I've not much money. I borrowed from Mr. Yu for fertilizer with high interest because nobody else would dare lend me. So comes a time when I could barely pay. Mr Yu say he'll accept my harvest as payment. Comes harvest time and all I have left is 20 cavans for myself, this I trade to neighbors. Could not even sell some to the market. P.S. Mr. Yu is a fertilizer dealer, they say he had this big rice warehouse deeply camouflage.
- I plant rice, I once had a three carabaos which I sold and then bought a mechanized hand tractor. Fuel price goes up, the tractor needs repair. I miss the carabaos which goes 1,000 kilometers on free grass. P.S. I live in a very remote barrio.
- I plant rice, I sell to NFA, but then this Mr. Yu came and gave me a better deal. You see, the NFA pays me in check with lot's of deduction imbedded and then I have to go to this bank at San Fernando, about 48 kilometers away just to encash it. A lot of times there were too many people in the bank that I end up spending the whole day for it.
Such a waste of time,
Mr. Yu gives prime,
Mr. Yu got mine,
Now I got more time.
P.S. I wasn't the only one.
4 above is intentionally left blank, go fill it. Even give a 5 or 6 on the list. Many of them farmers also sold their land to "Land Developers" or "Site Developers" or "Mall Makers" because of varying and many reasons like to pay for education or somebody's going to work abroad or simply nobody's acquired farming skills or nobody's wanted to be a farmer no more. Hey what have you...
Popular Mechanics' Top 50 Inventions of the Past 50 Years
(published in December 2005)
1955--TV REMOTE CONTROL
1964--UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
1971--WAFFLE-SOLE RUNNING SHOES
1981--SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE
1985--POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION
In 1966, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, Laguna developed a high yield dwarf rice which contributed to 20% rise in food production worldwide. Worldwide – a great contribution for humanity and it came from the Philippines.
Miracle Rice it was called. The first breed was called IR8 then IR9 up to IR16 and then some sprucing and interbreeding. The Green Revolution started and there was once a government program called Masagana 99. They had invited all nations interested to adopt this breed to their own land and thus curve out famine and malnutrition and everything in between. We have shared the technology to the world. And we have surplus yield. We were once the Number 1 exporter of rice in the whole wide webbed world.
It's a pity that we are now the Number 1 importer of its siblings.
Come to think of it the ZTE deal simply banished.