The farmer and the haze that never seems to go away

October 21, 2015

Oil palm yield has dropped drastically due to the haze that seems to show no signs of relenting.

The haze affects the palm yield in a two known ways. Firstly, it hinders photosynthesis and secondly, it reduces the number of insects that is vital for pollination thus reducing the number and size of new fruit bunches drastically.

I have every reason to believe the fires in Indonesia are beyond all hope of control this time round. According to my sources even oil palm plantations are being razed to a cinder. The fires are truly out of control. While this apocalyptic scene continues to unfurl…politicians throughout the region continue to indulge in childish sand box politics by reassuring the public – these fires can be snuffed out by the latest water bombing toys along with sending troops with fire hoses to combat the fires.

To me, this is all kiddie talk, as it all fails to take into account the limits of men and material against Godzilla scale of such a juggernaut event.

The fires will continue to burn! That will be reality.

Haze will be a feature of life interspersed with clear days when the winds are favorable. That will be reality.

Only the November rains can snuff them out. That is the reality.

But this year is very different from all other years. The winds have yet to shift. It is still blowing from West to East with a strong south easterly slant – I can only draw the logical assumption, this is may be due to the weakening of the monsoon trade winds that usually begin just around this time due the onset of El Niño.

It is conceivable the haze may not stop even after the end of the year.

The way I see it, far too much emphasis and misplaced faith has been placed on Mother Nature to snuff out the fires…..along with what I can only describe as a gross failure to scale the magnitude of how resilient these fires can continue to scissor thru the fields. The November rains may have worked their magic before…but what if they don’t come like they usually do? What if again Mother Nature decides to throw out a wild card like she did with El Niño? What if…what if…what if. Then the haze will simply be a fact of life that we have to get used too.

That’s OK if you’re just a salary man in Singapore…but as someone who puts bread on the table on the grace of the good earth and benevolence of Mother Nature…this is going to be one of those epic shitty years.

All my arrows must hit their mark…there is no room for error this time round.

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