With the women actively involved in majority of agricultural work, PhilRice is showcasing farm equipment for women in an exhibit in celebration of the 2017 National Women’s Month.
Led by PhilRice’s Rice Science Museum, the exhibit features machines easily operated by women-farmers from land preparation until milling. These include laboy tiller, drumseeder, continuous rice hull carbonizer, and micromill.
“These machines are lightweight, ranging from 10-100 kg. The portable machines were also designed to minimize injuries during farm work,” Diadem Gonzales-Esmero, museum curator said.
The laboy tiller is used for puddling the soil with deep harden depth while the drumseeder sows grains in straight rows and can be used as an alternative over broadcast seeding.
Women-farmers can also produce organic fertilizer using continuous rice hull carbonizer and can mill paddy rice in small quantity with the micromill.
Maria Daryl L. Leyesa of the Centro Saka Inc. said that women spend longer times than the men in pesticide application for snails, planting, and weeding.
Comprising 43% of the global agricultural labor force, women also devote 2.33 more days in harvesting than men and 2.75 more days in drying rice. Furthermore, her major farm role includes managing farm capital, growing and selling vegetables, and raising and selling the livestock.
In addition, their husbands depend on them on household matters such as medication in times of illness, food to prepare or cook, household appliances to buy, whom to vote during elections, and where to get money in emergencies.
As part of its month-long celebration, PhilRice also conducted a meet-up with world-class women-entrepreneurs. Rogerine Miguel, founder of Guerilla Bags & Co., shared how social enterprise helps improve the livelihood of Paoay weavers and rice farmers while Sherill Quintana talked about how Oryspa Spa Solutions, Inc., maker of the country’s first and finest rice bran based spa products, made it in the international competition.
The Gender and Development Initiatives of PhilRice funded the exhibit and activities.