Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Women rice farmers honored

IRRI marked its first-ever Women in Rice Farming Day on 8 August 2013 to recognize the role of women in agriculture, particularly in rice farming. The event was attended by 213 participants from the national and local governments including the Philippine legislature, the academe, media, NGOs, and the private sector.

Emerlinda Roman, chair of the IRRI Board of Trustees, welcomed the participants, citing the Philippines as "one of the world's leading countries in laws, rules and regulations that promote the rights and welfare of women and protect them against discrimination and harassment in the workplace."

She also mentioned that Filipino women are well represented in research as well as in research leadership in the Philippines and studies reveal that gender is not a big issue in the country as women continue to be actively involved in various fields, especially in education and research.
Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, undersecretary for special concerns at the Department of Agriculture (DA), said that according to the National Statistics Office in 2012, 93.4% of Filipino women are employed. Out of the number of employed women, 21.7% are in the field of agriculture, 80% of whom are in rice farming.

“Women participation is particularly high in activities such as planting, weeding, input and fertilizer application, drying, and sacking. Indeed, women constitute an integral part of the rice industry in the Philippines,” Usec. Romulo-Puyat added. She also thanked IRRI for organizing the event, which was held at the IRRI Headquarters. It was attended by women from the national and local government units, the academe, the media, and the private sector.

V. Bruce J. Tolentino, deputy director general for communication and partnerships at IRRI, presented a briefing on the event and an overview of IRRI’s research agenda.    

Women in Rice Farming Day activities included interaction with scientists and rice experts through a marketplace presentation of IRRI’s work on rice breeding, women-inclusive rice research, International Rice Genebank, the Nutrient Manager, grain quality and nutrition, and healthier rice. Booths were also set up for DA/PhilRice and the PCW.

Participants were brought on a field tour that included stops in which they were introduced to IRRI’s facilities on its long-term continuous cropping experiment, farm equipment and machinery, ecological engineering, seed health, and quality seed storage.

The event was held in partnership with the DA and the PCW.  View photo album.

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