By: Aurell P. Arais
As the world is celebrating the feast of St. Isidore, a simple farm worker born in Madrid, Spain, today, May 15, is a special day for farmers all over the globe.
May 15 is the Farmers’ Day celebration and this year is the fifth since it started.
This was disclosed by Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel, the national director of the National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace (NASSA-JP).
According to Gutierrez five years ago the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines declared every May 15th as Farmers’ Day to remind us of the important role farmers play in nation building.
This role played by farmers was recognized by Pope John Paul II when he addressed during the Jubilee of Agricultural World last year which states “farmers are entrusted with the task of making earth fruitful. A most important task whose urgent need today is becoming more apparent. The area where the farmers work is usually called the primary sector by economic science. When this sector is underappreciated or mistreated, the consequences for life, health and ecological balance are always serious and usually difficult to remedy”.
Bishop Gutierrez said that as we celebrate the 5th Farmers’ Day let us respect, defend and promote farmers’ rights; advocate and practice sustainable agriculture; and safeguard the integrity of God’s creation.
“We call on the farmers to improve their farming technology and gradually shift to organic farming; people to patronize Filipino products; lawmakers to review and amend anti-farmers laws and enact pro-farmer ones; president and her cabinet to improve rural facilities: roads, bridges, irrigations, electricity, etc: provide adequate capital and post-harvest facilities; and help in marketing agricultural products” he said.
The 5th Farmers’ Day celebration has the theme “Our Farmers, Our Partners”.