A neighbor came to me this morning. He is a farmer. He farms rice. Not really a friend nor enemy but I knew him for he was once my hired hand years ago. I was wondering what he wanted from me but he finally came to it after some weather talk. He needed to buy 6 bags of commercial fertilizer for his rice farm and was asking if I could supply the fertilizer for him. In return, he said, he'll pay me with 3 sacks of rice per bag of fertilizer. Hhhmmm..tempting..that means 18 sacks of rice in 2.5 months! But of course I didn't say yes for 2 reasons. Not only because I don't have the money for it but mainly because I can't allow myself to take advantage of the poor farmer in this situation. Believe me, I have tried it before and saw the anguish in their eyes as they part with sacks of rice that could feed their families for a few months more...that it haunted me for a long time.
This sad situation of our poor farmers has never shown any improvement...a vicious cycle of debts, usury and misery... a never-ending story and if these poor farmers can't get a real help from the government, then their children will continue what their fathers are doing. And that would be another sad story to tell..