Helping out farmers through agribusiness
It’s easy to picture farming as a relaxing job. Maybe we see the job as something relaxing and fulfilling. Movies tend to show farmers living in quaint rural areas, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, planting and tending to their crops and taking care of their animals while waiting for that breathtaking sunset at the end of the day. It’s a pretty picture, but an incorrect one. Farming is easily one of the most important jobs in any country. Unfortunately, it is also one of the hardest and unprioritized jobs out there. Farming is the “cultivation of land and heralding of livestock.” By planting crops and taking care of animals like cows and pigs, farming provides us our daily comforts. This is especially true for an agricultural country like the Philippines. That extra rice you ordered is there because rice is one of our staple needs. Farming provides food, raw materials, and jobs for a lot of Filipinos. Its improvement is vital for national development, especially food security. In 2014, the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that: “The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but agriculture and the entire food system – from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption – can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition. We can’t talk about improving our agriculture without talking about its foundation: our farmers. Pinoy farmers are among the most hardworking citizens in the country. In theory, becoming a farmer should allow a comfortable lifestyle. The narratives we witness prove otherwise. In a cruel stroke of irony, most farmers are unable to afford the food they provide. In the Philippines, farmers are landless, poor, and neglected by the state. We can see this when we look at our rice farmers: This is perhaps best reflected with the situation that rice farmers are in: despite rice being a staple in the lives of most Filipinos, rice farmers continue to live in poverty and suffer through the high cost of farming inputs, low price of palay, lack of capital, and lack of useful technology.
It’s pretty obvious that our farmers haven’t been doing well. The recent annual reports show that our agriculture is dying. To top it off, Pinoy farmers continue to dwindle. The average age of a Filipino farmer is 57 and young people don’t exactly aspire to become a farmer. Who can blame them? It isn’t exactly the most lucrative job around. Efforts have to be made to support farmers and agriculture. The dwindling population of Pinoy farmers and working conditions leave them in a position vulnerable to further exploitation and the problems brought by climate change. This is a huge problem. Every day, a new person comes into the world. With every new person comes an increase in needs and demand–which are difficult to satisfy given the condition that our farmers are in. In other words, we won’t be able to survive the coming years without our farmers. Farming has to become a sustainable livelihood for the agricultural workers. The first step is directing farmers towards agribusiness in the Philippines. If you’re confused with the term, think of agribusiness as farming following business principles. Transforming the current archaic agricultural farming system to an agribusiness-driven sector will make way for technological and scientific advancements that can be used on the field. This will finally allow our farmers to maximize the returns of their hard work and have access to technology and knowledge that can help them have better working conditions, crop yield, and income. Today there are a number of initiatives that aim to help farmers. Online loans that mainly focus on starting businesses for the agricultural sector, like those from Blend PH, even exist! Personal loans are perfect for farmers who want to start their own agribusiness. Blend PH’s personal loans are fast and easy to process. Farmers can borrow up to ₱2M and pay their loans within 6-36 months with a minimum interest rate of 1-3% every month. Applying for a personal loan is easy as well. All they have to do is log on to blend.ph and register as a borrower, choose the loan product that they wish to avail, submit all the requirements, and wait one to two days for approval. Once their loan is approved, they will be quickly notified and they can start their journey to a better life. That’s why in Blend PH, they do their best to reach out to those who are in need because they believe that everyone has the right to achieve the life that they want. Through their affordable funding services, Blend PH can help our farmers fulfill their agribusiness endeavors. Our farmers are important individuals in society–they are the “sources of life.” Without them, we will starve. It’s only right that they get what they deserve: a stable source of adequate income and good quality of life. The image of a relaxed farmer out on the fields might not be true today–but that doesn’t mean that it can’t ever be true.