Monday, December 31, 2007

world food program that feeds the fat farmer!!!!!!

The photo shows some of fellow neighbours getting into a neighbors tractor trailer to get home from the central distribution depot of the food.

The readers of my musings will no doubt now know that every day in my life if both unpredictable, different and sometimes once-off. Sunday was no exception. The 5.30 drive was so that we could get through the day. First on our way we saw who discovered our previous night's mischief in order to safeguard our fields. Then onto Ratmale, 10miles away to a chena cultivator farmer friends. He showed me what the rains had done to his papaya cultivation and we could sympathize as I was also a victim.However he had also lost the best trees that survived the wet weather to an elephant just pushing it down the day before. It is amazing how resilient they are amidst all this hardship.They were wondering loudly whether this was all worth their while.

I went with them to the field that morning, so I could get the green chillies, capsicum, and tomato I wanted to as well as picked the limes from his lime trees for my customers the next day. I therefore got no papaya from them. I then made a quick pit stop at my jungle property in Ratmale ( and went up to the tank, as it had spilled over due to the rains.So this was thie highest level I would see. The good news is the farmers here can now plough the fields twice this year rather than the once they did last year, as this tank is rain fed and not channeled from other water sources.

I then had to go to the pola (Sunday Fair) in Hingurakgoda, to get supplies for the week, and was appalled that I had to buy rice at 65/- a kilo as all my paddy is now over.

Later along with hundreds of farmers I had to queue up for our entitlements in kind for our work in cleaning up the irrigation canals that supply our fields. The payment for this work which is voluntary is made in kind by some scheme with the assistance of the WFP and other aid bodies. The enriched wheat flour was donated by the EU and each person received various amounts of food in the form of rice, flour, sugar and dhal, in proportion to the work performed.

Our entitlement was 15kg each of Rice and Wheat Flour, and 1.2KG Sugar and 1.8KG of Dhal.

The funny part was that I gave a ride to some of the people I had fought with the day before (see article below) in my cab back to the village with our provisions.
I need to add a PS in that at that late hour, the men sent their wives to collect the entitlement, as they had there date with the moonshine seller to make sure their daily ration of the needful is consumed. No wonder the world food programme is giving in kind to ensure if the breadwinner is an alcoholic the wife and kids dont starve.

I then had to pack my food and leave after dark back to Godagama arriving there after midnight, all by myself this time, so I could be ready for my Monday sales delivery to homes, of this produce I grow,transport and buy from my friends, the other known farmers. Now its 31st night nearing midnight, I go home to bed to face another day on the farm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dear ranjit
read about your latest challenges\adventures in your daily life and expectations you must meet fascinating as always. It's sad that there is such a focus on food as you probably agree as in the daily pursuit of a basic thing that of course we cannot live without other vital aspects of life could be forgotten or overlooked. Thanks for birthday wishes hard time with Devin love Shahn hope your NEW year is very prosperous