Women Rice Farmers Share Journey in Agriculture

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Iluminada Calbuyao from Kalinga shares practices in heirloom rice farming.

MAKATI CITY, Metro Manila—As active players in national development, Filipina rice farmers from different parts of the country were celebrated for their contributions and important economic efforts in agriculture.

This was during the Symposium on Women in Rice Farming, held by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in celebration of the Women’s Month. Here, women farmers from selected regions showcased their initiatives and best practices in rice farming.

Through the activity, the ATI also aimed to empower all women to lead and take part in the advancement of rural and urban communities.

In his message, ATI Director Alfredo Aton underscored that women are capable of sustaining food production through farming. He, likewise, urged the participants to teach their children to farm and impart the value of socioeconomic growth by providing food for their communities.

In sharing their successes in rice farming, the guest women farmers talked about how they started their journey. This included attending training programs, expanding their linkages, and engaging in agribusiness.

Moreover, Virginia Sacki and Mary Angeline Lumas-i, rural improvement club (RIC) presidents from Kalinga, discussed the role of women in rice farming through their experiences in their respective organizations. Also, Gender Inclusive Development and Participatory Media consultant, Gishelle Cruz, talked about the Magna Carta of Women.

Another highlight of the activity also includes the sharing of best practices in heirloom rice farming. Iluminada Calbuyao, rice farmer from Kalinga, talked about how the tradition of heirloom rice was preserved and made productive in the Cordilleras.

One of the participants, Ditas Dela Peña, RIC president from Region VIII, shared her gladness for having learned so much from the activity. “I thought I was already the best woman farmer, being a Rice Achievers awardee. Through the presentations of all the women, however, I learned new farming techniques and technologies,” she expressed.

Likewise, Janet Arboleda, RIC president and participant from Region II, hoped to attend more learning activities on agriculture, especially on rice farming. She stated, “I hope that the ATI will continue to give training programs on rice farming, given the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law.”

The participants, which include focal persons of rice and Gender and Development programs from ATI training centers, also visited farms of successful women farmers in Quezon. These are the Dolores RIC and Beegood Agriventures farms in Dolores and Tiaong, respectively.

The symposium, dubbed as “Magsasakang Kababaihan: Ilaw ng Tahanan, Bayani ng Lipunan”, was held on March 25-29, 2019 in this city.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.