Saliot Inspires Rural Women to be Involved in Agricultural Development

One of the lectures during the convention. (Photo by Clemente Gabion)

BATANGAS -- Rural women are no longer just mere homemakers whose role is centered on the reproductive sphere. They are most vital on pursuing development not only in rural communities but of the society as a whole.

As the overall coordinator of the rural based organizations (RBO), Dr. Asterio Saliot, director of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), inspired the rural women to continue with their cause during the recent national convention of the Rural Improvement Clubs (RIC). He stressed that the best resource for agricultural development was the human resources, thus the need to educate and empower them.

Saliot furthered that farming can be sustained if done by the families. “We can be assured of food sustainability if the producers are the farm families” which are now headed not only by men but also by women in the agriculture sector.

The national convention, with the theme “Agri-Tourism as Agribusiness Venture for Rural Women,” gathered around 325 women composed of RIC coordinators, focal persons, officers and members in Nasugbu, Batangas last November 27 to 29, 2014.

RIC is one of the RBOs coordinated by the ATI which aimed to empower the rural women in the country. Rural women’s capabilities are broadened through the different development activities and agriculture-based projects so as to become productive and afford improved ways of living for the family and the community.

The national convention was graced by prominent speakers who have significantly imparted vital information to the participants. One of the most successful owners of a farm tourism destination, Ronald Costales, shared the opportunities and challenges of the agri-tourism and organic farming. Senator Cynthia Villar also highlighted the event emphasizing the role of women in agriculture in poverty reduction and global food production.

Dr. Mechelle Palma discussed the daily wellness and the herbal production, while Congresswoman Sharon Garin pointed on women as the foundations of the agricultural industry essential for the county’s sustainable growth during her inspirational speech.

Aside from that, the launching of the RIC-initiated project was undertaken specifically the “Kabuhayan sa Kabahayan” which is a compilation of best practices and success stories and the declaration of April 22 of every year as a National RIC Green Day.