By Sahlie P. Lacson
Farm inputs like seeds, fertilizers, farm tools, and feeds are just as important necessities for farmers. How can they be able to provide food and sustain production if they cannot avail themselves of such farming requirements?
Now that the country is in enhanced community quarantine, only essential goods are allowed to pass through checkpoints. Non-essential shops and businesses are also closed for commerce.
I got the chance to get in touch with Edilee Rosales, Milea Bee Farm owner, who is stuck in Manila right now while her farmers are stuck in the farm in San Jose, Batangas.
“I must say, good thing that my farmers are there, otherwise, all plants and animals there could die eventually,” Rosales said.
“No farm tourism business now and trainings are also cancelled so there is no income for the farm right now. But our bees are okay; we should harvest honey next month,” Rosales continued.
“I am lucky I have good people there. I manage through online messages, Google sheets, and Slack,” Rosales further said.
However, Rosales adds that the situation, like the checkpoints we have now, also makes it hard for them to source inputs as the stores are closed and movements are very limited. “Like right now, we need shade nets for our plants because of too much heat, otherwise, they will die. We cannot find them in San Jose, (I) am still looking.”
“The checkpoints are making it really hard to move inputs because, according to them, they are not food! I just hope people manning the checkpoints can be enlightened so we can go on producing food,” Rosales pleaded.
I am sure there are many farmers, especially in Luzon, who share the same sentiment. Maybe the Department of Agriculture could also look into this in order to help our farmers ensure an unimpeded delivery of fresh produce to our people.