“May lupa kami, kaso walang nalinya samin sa farming.” (We have land, but no one (in our family) is into farming.)
“Gusto sana namin magfarm, kaso walang tatao.” (We want to venture into farming, but we have no one to work the land.)
“Hirap magfarm pag wala ka lagi sa site mo. Minsan may instructions ka, pero ang ginagawa padin yung paraan na alam nila. (It’s difficult to farm when you’re not always on site. Sometimes, you give instructions (to the workers) and yet they still do it their way.)
These lines are all too familiar for absentee landowners in the Philippines and a saddening reality for the industry; they have been disconnected with their land.
As a result, a lot of arable land have remained uncultivated, which I personally consider as the biggest waste of available natural resource.
Our country has been blessed with a climate that is suitable to most crops and animals. Our terra firma, one of the most fertile in the world due to the fact that this is the direct result of volcanic explosions of centuries prior. Abundant water resources, albeit with a huge problem in management and allocation. In totality, we have been given a great situation, but we have failed to take advantage.
A lot of these absentee landowners end up waiting until development reaches their area, proceeding to sell their agricultural land when the price is right.
And as it always is in life, the situation is rife with irony. As development reaches the countryside, migration towards the cities have increased. Why? Because the farm lands that their families have been working on for generations, have been converted to residential areas. The more that we build houses, the more people we displace.
I frequently walk the streets of Manila and look at the way the people on the street make a living. The thought that they would rather live in squalor rather than come home to their hometowns and make a simple, but decent living through farming or fishing has always boggled me. Then it hit me, they probably can’t come home, because there is no more home to come back to.
That is why we at Dream Agritech want to encourage people to invest in farming. We are here to fill the gaps, we are here to help you make your idle land productive, we are here to help train the next generation of farmers, we are here to try and help the industry.
As our population balloons towards the end of the 2nd decade of the 21st century, the demand for food will certainly increase. We will need to cultivate land in order to feed the growing populace and in order for our country to be self-sustaining, there has to be a concerted effort across all Filipinos to practice sustainable farming and produce the dietary requirements that our countrymen will demand.
Development will reach the countryside, it is inevitable, but we must be able to protect our arable land from being converted to avert a bigger crisis. Housing is a basic human need, but so is food.
Our aim, at Dream Agritech, is to reconnect people to the land. The land that fed their forefathers, the land that has given them bountiful harvests, the land that gave them a home.