One of agriculture’s greatest ironies is the tragedy of the commons: a bountiful lot shared and tended by all… destroyed by all.
Far from being a literary event, the tragedy of the commons is the inevitable destruction or collapse of an environment or resource. What’s the cause of this tragic downfall? As always, humans and the faults in our character. Individual users, by acting independently according to their own self-interest, behave contrary to the common good of all and deplete or spoil the fun for the rest of us.
So, let’s proceed: I am referring to the Ecuadorian floriculture, specifically to the rose business. In simple terms, the common (the rose industry) is collapsing (tragic) because each individual is looking out for their own self-interest instead of the common good for the industry. You might argue that as a private business each company has the right to do as they please, and, as a business shareholder, I agree, up to a point. That point, as with anything else, is the simple opportunity cost of the game.
We all played the game, moved by our own concerns, and now we are all suffering the consequences. However, communal action can drive us away from the precipice. Here are three ways that we can avert this tragedy.
Click here to read Luis’ full blog on how Ecuadorian ‘Rosicultor’ can climb out of the hole it dug itself into.
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