For some, being a farmer is suicidal. Water and land are scarce, small farmers struggle to compete with the likes of Monsanto, and there are a host of environmental problems to contend with as well. In this context, it’s almost unthinkable that this bright young man dreams of following his father’s footsteps – as a farmer in Iran.
Hossein Torabi is one of a number of people across the MENA region who actually want to be a farmer when he “grows up” – even though he is a self-described “leading MBA graduate.”
While we can’t make out whether his father is using organic practices on this Persian blog (we can’t read Persian), Torabi’s love of farming is evident in these Instagram photos that make the day to day routine of farm life in Iran look like the most glamorous and inspired job in the world.
One third of Iran is suitable for farm land, but because of mismanaged natural resources, poor soil, lack of water for irrigation and unprecedented climate change due to the rise of global temperatures, only 12 percent of Iran’s land is under cultivation. And of that 12 percent, only one third is actually irrigated.
Who wants to farm in an environment like this? It isn’t making most people rich enough to buy a new iPhone every year, and none of the trappings associated with modern urban life – such as groundbreaking new music or art and design – are available in the greenhouse.
Yet many young people are beginning to realize that gardening is the future (whether it’s urban or rural, small scale or commercial). This is especially true in the Middle East, where several countries import up to 90 percent of their food from abroad.
Torabi could just as easily have chosen investment banking as a career, one that would guarantee wealth, but he appears to prioritize other riches – that of life-giving Earth instead.
“I am the son of a farmer,” he wrote on his Instagram account, “and perhaps one day become a farmer.”
See more of these soul-stirring images over on his personal account and let us know in the comments – do you think now is a good time to be a farmer? Do you dream of owning a farm? Or are you putting your money on the city?