WE WILL welcome the New Year 2O2O tomorrow. What can we look forward to?
We will continue to import rice for our consumption requirements. We have a new Secretary of Agriculture in the person of William Dar but so far we have no idea how he intends to solve our rice problem because we still rely on imports. When can we increase our rice production?
We have written on this in February last year. Up to now, we cannot expect our production to meet our needs. Why does our government not learn from India’s strategy for our farmers to improve our production?
India is the second biggest country in the world next to China in population and a rice-eating country like the Philippines. It is interesting to note that India was able to increase rice production and became self-sufficient in the cereal to feed its population of 1.3 billion people.
We gathered that their government simply adopted a program of paying their farmers twice the market price of their produce at harvest time. As we have said, it is not too late for our National Food Authority or NFA to adopt the same rice procurement scheme so farmers will be attracted to plant palay even under their houses.
If we do, farm owners will be encouraged to go back to farming and plant rice. As it is now, many farms are lost to conversion for new subdivisions because the latter can give better return for their land rather than continue planting rice.
For Iloilo, the festivals are also coming and this can bring greater business activities to the city. Dinagyang comes on the last week of January but festive activities are witnessed by the public early because the participating tribes practice their street dance presentations early.
Dinagyang is then followed by the Jaro fiesta on February 2 which is famous for the proclamation of a reigning queen that comes from an Ilonggo family usually of national prominence.
And there is also the sabong or cockfight in Jaro that is attracting Ilonggos from all over the country. This is followed by the Paraw Regatta in March.
The festivals are coming. Happy New Year and to our expected visitors for our coming festivals, Welcome to Iloilo!
IDIOMS FOR THE ENLIGHTENED MIND
“Bury the hatchet” – It means to make peace with someone and stop arguing or fighting. (For comments or re-actions, please e-mail to [email protected]/PN)