The last month I decided to pull on the reins and slow things down. I have managed to meet more people but still missed about 50% of the opportunities to mix with a lot of expats. Its nothing personal its simply that we must be in Expat and holiday season as so many people have arrived at once as well as things going on business wise. So even though I have put a pause on a lot of things its probably as busy as any other month without even realising it if not busier.
The odd thing is the recent new friends, expats and local population have all been very positive in life and where they want things to go here. Some are just looking to settle down, others business and many are looking for ways to help change things for the better all in. Its also led to an idea as I am currently looking at some farming ventures with someone locally who has several farms himself and looking to develop the business. Most people here seem to either be forced to rent land because they don’t own it and struggle to run one crop on land through to harvest due to high interest loans and expensive fertilizers. But this is where I am hoping to interconnect things for the better. A lot of expats have a keen interest in farming yet they may not want to run it full-time and may not even want to farm but have the views. What if the opportunity came up where you could run and own a farm which could either have local workers, land leases or partnering at the same time as getting the land views you would infact be getting a profit every year. Most issues even for localised people is staff problems which is why having a farm would mean living on the farm to stop risks of thefts etc. But at the same time the new venture I am working on with my friend locally we should start seeing the makings of a network develop for exports and local sales. End result is a large co-operative group of Expats and locals working hand in hand for a better life for everyone.
Why are so many farms empty is a question many people ask and it is also something that plagues Africa. People talk of a food crisis I talk of mismanagement of lands. I think a lot of the problem is many of the wealthy people have left the Philippines either as an OFW or simply just waiting for that deal for someone to come and buy all their land. In reality though most people here don’t have the budget and couldn’t get finance to buy the land so a cycle happens where the land just stands empty. Prime example is a lot near us that I haven’t even heard of anyone interested in it. Its 1 hectare in size yet nothing is going on there in the last 3 years its a hope that it will turn into a sub-division by a developer but will any ever come? wouldn’t it have made more sense to continue growing food on the land until that buyer appeared? Either way the only use that comes from it is Fiesta once a year where the stage is built on it the rest of the year its just another empty piece of land filling the landscape.
So why do I think I should change the culture of land and ownerships? Because socially its a problem that is happening in many countries but the priority is changing it for the better. Also the fact there is a lot of people arriving with their wives from abroad who have badly needed capital to stimulate the agricultural industries. Tie that in with proving it works hopefully OFW’s will do the same as well and maybe even in the future a co-op farm could develop e.g. one farm with many owners to allow small holders to develop things on a smaller scale together allowing sharing of equipment and lands etc. Its a future I would gladly invest my time in and hope that people will see its vision and embrace.
Its not only a future for today but for generations to come if done properly. Agriculture and infrastructure should always be the backbone of a country as it gives it its independence so I am hoping it will work and also help tighten relations between the local population and foreign nationals.