More on the misfortune of veggie farmers
The effects of ethical living or the opposite run very deep. One might even not suspect these as the causes of how his life have become. For so many years, our vegetable farmers have been engaged in unethical practices. Back then they would be listening to their AM radios (now they just wait for text messages) to monitor the prices of veggies in the market. When the prices are high, they would immediately harvest, even in the dead of night, and bring their produce to market. It does not matter whether they just sprayed these with pesticides the day before, thus, are toxic to consumers. A number of days, even weeks must pass before the pesticide on veggies could dissipate to make these safe to buyers. Otherwise the chemical residues will accumulate in a person’s body and will cause health vagaries like cancer and abnormalities to babies in the future.
Another unethical practice is the use of banned pesticides in the veggie farms. These are usually more effective against pests but they endanger lives of consumers and the farmers themselves and the environment. Being illegal, these are smuggled and command high prices.
But the law of karma is continuously working. People however forget it when they suffer unmentionable losses due to various reasons.
Then there is the case of middle men. The clutches of middle men can be beaten if only our farmers are educated enough to bring their produce to direct buyers like institutional buyers (hotel and restaurant chains) or wholesale markets in Metro Manila. But how can a farmer do this if he does not even know his way around Metro Manila and he does not have the skills to deal with the people running such buyers. Everything can of course be learned but if one does not have the confidence to brave the barriers, a farmer would be at the mercy of middle men at the La Trinidad trading post.
The government tries to remedy the control of middle men by establishing the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC), but like any other government project, it failed to deliver on its promises.
Then there is the lack of capital and discipline among some of our farmers. When they make a killing in the sale of their produce, they could not handle the money. Some of them, just like some small scale miners, get drunk because of it and they head for the casino at Poro Point, La Union. Though they are often shabbily dressed, they are treated there as VIPs because the casino operators know they always bring their big hard earnings to lose on the gambling tables. The morning after, they usually go home with long faces with empty pockets. Sometimes they also lose even their vehicles, if not their houses and lots.
So much for the misfortune of veggie farmers? **