We need faith of a farmer to reap the seeds of hard work

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Farmer at work [Courtesy]

Do we ever take time to reflect on how interconnected we are to nature and its cycles? A visit to the countryside forces you to. 

“It has not rained, yet we have planted, said one concerned farmer I talked to a few weeks ago.

The bare earth supports his concern. When it rains, the crops and natural vegetation sprout, and the farmers are glad. 

But it will be months before they harvest the crops. If only we were all as patient as farmers.

There are no shortcuts. While genetics and fertilisers or manure might hasten the growth, farming is still a profession cloaked in patience.  

Domestic animals too take months or years from birth to maturity. If a farmer plants fruit trees or any other trees, it could be decades before they can harvest them.

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This patience taxes many young men and women; they leave the countryside. 

Add the demands of the farm – cows must be milked daily, chicken and cattle fed, crops weeded, among other laborious activities.

There is no time to rest for farmers. Holidays are not that meaningful. 

What if all of us were as patient and hopeful as farmers – plant crops and hope it will rain? 

Would that not reduce corruption? Would that not increase national pride?  Is nepotism not about seeking shortcuts?

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The zero added to prices and charging a premium for low-quality goods and services are examples of people who do not have the patience of farmers.  

Farmers are our heroes, feeding us every day. But they are the least appreciated.

It’s a profession we all want to run away from and then complain about high food prices.

We hop from one restaurant to another without much thought about who produced that food and who extracted maximum value along the supply chain.  

Farmers are left on their own to grapple with nature and its natural cycles.

They have no subsidies like oil marketers, beyond fertiliser as an incentive to produce more food.

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Creditors keep away from them while brokers take advantage of their helplessness, particularly where some crops are perishable.  

Yet, they own most of this planet and keep us alive. And they make a big voting bloc in Kenya.

Who will remember them and their suffering? Who will reward them for their patience, hope and perseverance? Three cheers for our farmers!

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