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The Franciscan Youths (YOUFRA) of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor: Feeling triumphant after giving their share to the community. Tree planting and clean up activities are one of the regular activities of these youth to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change following their weekly formation at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (pia-siquijor/Rizalie Anding Calibo)
Central Visayas Region

PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 05, 2012

Siquijor woman farmer makes it to the national 2011 Rural Women Award

by Rizalie Anding Calibo

SIQUIJOR, Jan. 5 (PIA) -- A Siquijor woman farmer was cited as one of the outstanding women in the field of agriculture during the 2011 Rural Women Award at the national level.

A report from the Siquijor Provincial Agriculture Office said Martina Tumala-Inapan, 53, from barangay Cansayang, San Juan, Siquijor has engaged in Diversified and Integrated Farming System for years now.

The citation was made by the Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and other members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Rural Women, the report said.

Inapan received a P20,000 cash prize and a citation from the DA Gender and Development Focal System and the Inter-agency Committee on Rural Women.

The search for outstanding rural women aims to recognize rural women with exceptional abilities and contributions particularly in the fields of farming and fishing that uplifted the lives of the people in the community.

Martina, the report said is wife of a retired military officer and a mother of five who are all involved in their family’s farming activities-- planting, weeding and harvesting operations and even in the marketing of their farm produce.

Martina works from dawn to dusk to be able to augment their family’s income which comes mainly from her husband’s salary.

With the one hectare lot inherited from her parents, Martina slowly transformed the once rocky soil into a productive rice farm, even as some portions were planted to vegetables and rootcrops.

The almost seven-hectare farm land now offers various ornamentals plants, several ponds of tilapia, assorted fruit and forest trees and banana plants grown in patches .

An advocate of the integrated pest management and environmental preservation, Martina produces her own vermicast and carbonized rice hull and compost as a source of fertilizer.

The family also produces its own feed formulation for both livestock and tilapia feeds out of the rice and corn mill that they own and operate. The family also owns a floating tiller and thresher, and other farm implements, which they consider as their partners in making an enterprise out of farming, the report reads.

Her neighbors have slowly been able to augmented their family income little by little after doing farming with Martina’s help.

According to Cansayang Barangay Captain Lilia Tumala, Martina’s leadership is a very good example to the neighborhood. She let her neighbors learn farming technologies and her farm is open to all farmers and visitors.

“Isip usa ka babaye nga gitagaan ug higayon ga mamahimong usa kalider sa among dapit, gikalipay nako’g dako nga makahatag ug maayong pagtulun-an nila ilabi na sa pagpanguma aron dugang makatubag sa panginahanglanon sa pagkaon,” Inapan said. (As a woman who has been given the respect to lead the women in the community, I am so pleased that I can teach them new farming techniques especially those that can augment family income.)

DA Secretary Proceso Alcala has recognized that rural women are not just ‘helpers’of their farmer or fisher-husbands. Instead, rural women are also the decision makers in looking for capital, selecting the crops, record keeping of finances, and paying of debts.

The DA in Siquijor headed by Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer Bernadith Bunado with Institutional Development Service Staff of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Roseslyn Bonachita, Vidalita Gom-os and Chuchie Cherry Gamo expressed their appreciation to Martina for bringing "woman power" at the national level.

Other outstanding women awardeess are Myrna Conmigo-Acayen of Barangay Digdigon, Goa, Camarines Sur as “Outstanding Rural Woman of the Year”; (1st to 4th runners-up): Remia Navarro-Apostol of Koronadal, South Cotabato; Rebecca Castro-Tubongbanua of Buenavista, Guimaras; and Virginia Dentero-Dureza of Brookespoint, Palawan. They also received cash prizes and citations. (mbcn/rac/PIA-Siquijor with reports from OPA/DA-PATCO)

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