Monday, March 17, 2008

a great man with common sense

When I have a problem in my agricultural enterprise I go to 89 baas unnaha my mentor. He has been a builder in his time who had to give it up due to a medical problem and took up farming subsequently.

People from the agricultural department also come to him for advice. I buy my parboiled rice for my shop from him and also whatever he has that I also want for my shop or customers on my home delivery.

I visited him yesterday for some advice on how to handle the crisis I am currently facing with not being able to take in my harvest owing to the rain.

His answer was very simple. The last time this happened was in 1988 and there were not threshing machines then. The farmers used the runway on the Hingurakgoda airport to thresh their paddy using the large tractors and dry the grain on the surface. For obvious reasons they cannot do that now.

He told me that as my paddy has not fallen, I should bide my time and wait and when the sun next shines to cut as it will only take two hours for my paddy to dry and it will be perfect. If I cut now in a wet state the possible loss incurred in trying to dry it is not worth the risk. So that is what I have decided to do.

He is a practical man who has faced difficulty and overcome some and is still stifled by the lack of funds to pursue some of his dreams. One day I hope he will have the fortune to be able to carry out his ambitions as he is a true man of the soil, who loves his country and its heritage and strongly believes we can learn a lot from history, about the agricultural techniques and blend it in a rational and logical way to maximise the output with the least harm to the environment. An environmentalist before the term became fashionable.

Its people like this level headed and knowledgeable with a clear sense of what is required, with no interest in pursuing a personal agenda, that we require to draw up a master plan for the future and is a hidden gem worth more than anyone I can think of in this country today.

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