Grab Photo from ATI

 Access to training programs and development opportunities enables more women to participate in agriculture. This was highlighted by two women farmers from Nueva Ecija, who served as guest experts during the Agri Asenso radio program of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and DZRH last March 5, 2022.

DILIMAN, Quezon City – Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Farm School owners Fern Sebastian and Nina Resplandor, of Myriad Farms in Guimba, Nueva Ecija, said that various government interventions and resources in the sector are now gender inclusive.

“Gender equality is already happening and the resources [initially] for men are now made available also for women,” Resplandor expressed during the interview with DZRH broadcaster Henry Uri and ATI-OIC Assistant Director Antonieta Arceo.

Consequently, according to them, gender roles have changed, and when it comes to farming, women are no longer taking the backseat.

“In the training courses we offer, 30% of our participants are women, which means that they really have the awareness and willingness to earn for their families,” she shared.

During the episode, they also talked about their journey as women rice farmers, and the training courses they offer in their farm as an accredited RCEF Farm School of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

In particular, these training programs are for the production of high-quality inbred rice, seed certification, and farm mechanization. Since its accreditation in 2020, the said Farm School has produced over 400 graduates, who are now practicing new technologies in pest and nutrient management in rice farming, as well as their technical know-how on using digital agri applications and farm monitoring tools.

Moreover, Sebastian and Resplandor attested to the increase in their yield as they started using more science and technology-based farming methods in rice production.

“Most of our students have also provided the same feedback after their training program,” they shared.

Meanwhile, as an accredited farm tourism site of the Department of Tourism, Myriad Farms offers different farming activities such as pick-and-pay of seasonal fruits and vegetables, farm tour, carabao ride, and the “pilapil” walk challenge.

At the end of their interview, the guest speakers encouraged female farmers to continue showcasing their own strength and educate themselves more to make better farming decisions. This episode, in line with this year’s celebration of Women’s Month and the third year implementation of RCEF, is available at the ATI and DZRH Facebook pages. (Marianne Antonio, ATI)