By Olamide Tejuoso
Whether the Valentine’s Day is here or over, love is always in the air that one can literarily touch it. It is all about love, no doubt. This couldn’t also not be far from how Valentine’s Day had its origins rooted in an ancient agriculture and human fertility festival, called the Feast of Lupercalia, based on a source.
According to legend, this festival was also dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, known as Faunus. Now in the 21st century, shouldn’t we, again consider, the significant role which agriculture plays on this red-letter day? Have you considered the box of chocolates you buy for your loved one is a product of the farm. Oh, yes! The ingredients of all the sweet treats you get for your loved ones; from sweeteners, to milk, nuts, fruits, and so on, are all farm products, aren’t they?. Each of the products that you see come from the farm, is a product of love, labour and patience.
Flowers first; whether traditional or contemporary don’t just spring up. In fact, there are over 400,000 varieties of flowers in the world. Some of them demand farmers working 365 days a year to keep and nurture them, so you as a consumer, can always get your favourite to buy in and out of season. Hence, a Valentine’s gift to a special one is not perfect without a flower. I mean, what’s a Valentine without a rose.
Roses account for about 84 per cent of purchased flowers for Valentine’s Day, which amount to about 110 million roses worldwide. According to research, about 34 per cent of consumers purchase fresh flowers and 20 per cent buy house plants on Valentine’s day in California alone while most of these purchasers are reported to be men!
The beautiful ‘I-love-you’ Teddy bears, which are usually the next in line of Valentine gift items, also testify to the strong relationship between wildlife, agriculture, and creativity. These stuffed animals would not have been in wide circulation if not for the by-products of agriculture. The workforce and backbone of this gift item are no other persons than farmers.
Chocolates, which usually come in different shapes, sizes, flavour, images, and so on, are also not achievable outside of agriculture. Quick, convenient and classic they are! And it is said that the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach. These chocolates couldn’t have been possible outside of the world’s cocoa harvest, largely from West Africa. What about other candies too?
According to research, about 40 per cent of the world’s almonds and 20 per cent of the world’s peanuts are used in creating candy for Valentine’s Day alone. As if the above are not enough, what about the labour involved? The number of people employed in the distribution and sale of Valentine’s Day products, such as dispatch riders, truck drivers, supermarket workers, store employees, waiters, and more; all point to the fact that agriculture is indispensable and doing more than we can imagine in the blink of an eye.
Have you ever imagined that one day, every one wakes up in the morning, goes to work and nobody went to the farm? What would have been our situation? Would the married still be “peppering” the singles with their posts and statuses? Would the lovers still have enjoyed their elegant dinners? Or, beautifully-celebrated the day they fell in love? This again is to say that, whether you have to wear a tie to work every morning or sit behind a machine for eight hours a day; always remember the farmers’ labour of love and complement them by doing agriculture in any little way you can.
We all should be protectors of the agriculture legacy, even in our treatment of the profession of farming during the season of Valentine, and beyond.