Generally, when heroes are mentioned, the personalities that come to mind are athletes, entertainers, movie stars, supermodels, successful business people, maybe scientists… and farmers? An afterthought if a thought at all! Frankly, let me ask, can you name a farmer or a farm with which you are familiar?
We don’t think too much about where our daily supply of food sustenance comes from. Yet, without these humble men and women toiling behind the scenes, doing the work which most of us don’t ever want to do, there would be no food in the Supermarkets, and nothing on our dinner tables.
Farmers over the decades have had to deal with a lot of challenges, especially with the fast-changing, unpredictable weather patterns around the world. Our population explosion presents more and more people to feed. Without fertilizers, farmers struggle to yield abundant harvests, and this makes it difficult to start with non-genetically modified seeds, hence organic foods fetch a very expensive price tag.
Farmers have to adapt to consumer tastes, demand, and expectations continuously, add the rising demand for more food and investments needed for new farming technologies and machineries; it’s a lot which our farmers have to navigate through. The challenges of dealing with the ever mutation of crop diseases and pests with inadequate funding and government support add another layer of difficulty for our farmers. Natural disasters, droughts, floods, and bush fires will easily destroy an entire crop on farms leaving farmers devastated and financially crippled.
So, let’s ask ourselves this; do we stop to consider how the meal which we so much enjoy, is cultivated? Do we ponder who farmed our food? Do we care if these indispensable farmers are happy about the prices at which they sold their farm produce? We all want inexpensive produce. These are rhetorical questions meant to get us to stop and think, to hopefully, prompt us to begin considering how best we can support local farmers who 7 days a week are dedicated to working all seasons to ensure there is food for us all in our towns and neighborhoods.
Food insecurity is a terrible experience for anyone. But imagine a situation where you have the means to buy however, the produce is absolutely unavailable! In 1983 in Ghana, the rains refused to arrive, bushfires were rampant, yields plummeted, and both rich and poor alike, joined long queues to buy food for their families.
Let’s not wait for this event to keep repeating itself locally and on the global stage.
Let’s band together and all be supportive in any way we can to encourage more youths to consider farming. More organized funding, education and strategic innovation is needed to combat soil depletion. Governments and agriculture leaders need to spearhead the charge and champion the cause of putting to use, idle lands and strategically increase our world production and distribution of food.
Our planet has an abundance of arable lands available for all forms of mechanized farms, rotational crop farming all of which should be the most encouraged given the rate of population growth and current food insecurity. We urgently need to save our water bodies and seriously address climate change education. Let’s provide more incentives and tangible support to our crop, fish, and livestock farmers.
Our farmers depend on us as much as we depend on them and it’s about time, we collectively take significant steps to applaud, appreciate, support and champion their service to the sustenance, growth, and expansion of humanity.