Dumb fields

On a field on the outskirts of Hanoi, there was a pump station that had long been inactive.

The pumping station was the result of an investment in a "safe vegetable growing area project" - an ambition of the government on a new face for district agriculture. That project, after nearly 10 years, has not been fully disbursed, so no one has finished the pump station worth many billion.

Rusty water pipes, peeling lime walls, pump stations lie dormant in the field. And the surrounding farmers are getting water to water vegetables from the well. They dug the well in the middle of the field, sucked up the water with a self-equipped pump, then grabbed buckets and poured water into the vegetables themselves. Hanoi citizens in the 21st century water their vegetables with buckets - as their forefathers did for centuries.

Around the field, we met four people, four interest groups. They listed four different versions of the pump station's fate.

The farmer was watering vegetables at noon in the sun, saying that the pumping station was ineffective. It was a bad design: water didn't come to her fields. Besides, that "safe vegetable growing" project is also a discarded thing. She tried to participate in the one-crop project, but the vegetables were rotten and no one consumed them. She planted and brought to the market to sell. She had forgotten about the state-invested irrigation system.

The chairman of the cooperative, who was in charge of the pumping station, was bitter that the farmer would not cooperate with him. Every day he runs a pump station of all 5 million electricity, but farmers do not want to pay irrigation fees. Regarding the clean vegetable project, he said that farmers also failed to comply with their commitments. The plan was good, but the farmers didn't follow it, so now he owed it.

The vice-chairman of the commune declared that the agricultural situation was still good. His commune, a model of agricultural model of the whole city, the whole country. The pumping station does not always work, because it is based on the "actual production situation". Since the project for safe vegetable production has not been implemented so far, do not rush to evaluate the effectiveness.

We went into the pump station hoping to find the person who was directly looking after it. Pump station watchers, will probably understand what happened.

There, there is a man living. He led us to the fields, with his hands and feet, spit on the old carrots, the beds of lettuce that grew as tall as the harvester's limbs, and the beds of tomatoes wilted with insects. The field looks sad. He tried to make very loud sounds from the throat. But we do not understand. The man is mute.

We were forced to accept that the person closest to the pumping station was unable to convey his story.

The four people on the field point to a pumping station and tell four different stories, with four attitudes, giving four messages. The farmer was busy watering vegetables with little emotion. The chairman of the cooperative was sore in the face of ruin. The commune leader smiled permanently. The farmer said that it was the government's fault. The cooperative said it was the fault of the farmers who lacked awareness. The government, surprised (still smiling): it's okay, why is it at fault? And he was dumb, it was hard to predict whether he was happy or sad, just trying to "say" out loud something we couldn't catch.

We discussed and decided that there was nothing we could do but tell all four versions to our readers, so that each one could reflect on the fate of the pumping station in the field.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister spoke to farmers in a rare event. There, there were 300 representatives of farmers from many regions.

That conversation reminded me of the pump station on the outskirts of Hanoi. "Dialogue" on agriculture and rural areas is a more difficult problem than in many fields. There, there are typical demographic conditions, taking place in areas far from the administrative center; Relevant people rarely use smartphones, rarely use social networking and are not trained to speak out. Try replacing the pumping station on the other field with an inactive lift, or an inferior construction item in the apartment building, to make it easy to imagine. No one livestream the situation of the pump station, complaining to the investor even though many years have passed. The story of the apartment building was certainly noisy.

Certainly the Prime Minister, with his advisory network, with a very active Agriculture Minister had heard many stories in the fields across the country. And yesterday's dialogue, just symbolic, where the head of government fired direct messages to farmers.

But anyway, the dialogue about agriculture is very specific. In this typical context, after the village of bamboo, among farmers who do not have the habit of recording life records with Facebook, I suddenly realized that the other pump station, after several years lying still in the field, was able to keep up. tinged with a detective story. Although behind the pump station, not a few billion, but a major policy problem, maybe a national plan, it was tripping ... silent.

From behind the village, the stories that pop out to your mobile screen today are much rarer than the urban ones. 70% of the population lives in the countryside, a gray space of the media. Dialogue on agriculture is therefore a heavy task. It cannot be brief in an auditorium of hundreds of delegates. People expected the Central Party to come down, listen and understand more times. Heavy duty and long lasting. Because there have been wrong places not only "listening" or "answering" but also investigating efforts.

The detective story in the field, it might be hard to attract readers' comments like a normal case story. And if not careful, then even though all sides "dialogue" already, every Vietnamese field can still become a mute field.

Lord Emperor