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Women take center stage in FFS
More women are challenged to actively partner with men in farming. This ushered them to participate in agri field schools that are most often male-dominated. The shift from men farmers to both men and women farmers in agriculture particularly in rice farming is becoming widespread in the region.
In the November 2008 to April 2009 cropping season, one-third of the participants in our PalayCheck FFS were women. In some FFS sites, women were dominating. Of the 11 sites in Leyte province that had their field day in March and April, women graduates (167) outnumbered men (105). For Biliran and Southern Leyte, it was 31 to 23.
Women's greater participation in getting farming information could help much in our drive for more farmers to adopt technologies that offer more gains in farming. Their increasing number in FFS showed their commitment to push forward agriculture in the countryside, making it productive, profitable and competitive.
Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that youths were attending field days. Their number may not get much attention but their presence could mean their interest in agriculture.
ATI 8 had coordinated the conduct of 30 field days in March and April 2009 for the 42 FFS. It was attended by close to 2,300 farmers, fisherfolk, rural women, youth, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders.
In all field days, farmer-partners reported the techno demonstrations results and shared with fellow farmers their learnings on PalayCheck.