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A province’s plan out of poverty

IN THE hinterlands of Eastern Samar, many farmers still use a crude planting system that has them guiding five to 10 carabaos, roaming side by side, around wet rice fields. After the trampling — called payatak in Waray — rice is planted and then left alone until harvest time. It’s a system that’s practically as old as time, and anyone seeing an Estehanon exerting so much effort just to coax a decent harvest from his field may not believe the province has actually been doing well in the last few years.