15 October, 2023
Luzviminda "Luz" Dolorzo, 51 years old, has been farming for 23 years in San Carlos, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines., and she knows how important it is to monitor your crop carefully, and draw on the knowledge of local agricultural extension staff when extra help is needed.
Farming corn and rice crops have been the main focus for Luz and her husband, although they also raise pigs. Farming is the family's main source of income with harvest being one of Luz's favourite times on the farm - as that is when she sees the financial return on all her hard work.
Luz divides her time daily between crop farming, livestock farming, and household chores and she plays a key role, as her husband has additional work off the farm.
"My husband prepares the soil, and then I do most of the activities from planting right up to harvesting."
Pests and diseases can have a huge impact on the family, "There is no guarantee we will harvest." Monitoring her crop, is, therefore, an important task and she checks regularly.
"Monitoring helps us to identify the needs of our crop. I'm always in the field and whenever I see worms I will crush them."
Luz also works closely with her local agriculture extension worker (AEW) to get help immediately if she needs it. She does this by messaging the AEW directly via mobile phone to report pest incidents or concerns, and she can also ask for an appointment to get help. This help can be in the form of advice, a biopesticide, and sometimes, a pesticide.
Luz's dream as a woman farmer is to increase her farming knowledge.
"My dream is to sustain the development of my farm. Development means gaining knowledge that I can use to improve our maize and rice production, to increase yield and to give our family extra income.”
You can watch our interview with Luz here.
We hope this blog sparks further discussion on the importance of the role of women farmers in integrated pest management and sustainable agriculture. The 2023 Women as IPM Leaders Webinar Series under the ASEAN FAW Action Plan has started! Our next session will focus on hearing from women farmers about their needs, challenges and aspirations. Find out more information and join us by going to https://www.aseanfawaction.org/women-as-ipm-leaders
The ASEAN FAW Action Plan would like to thank the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their generous support of this programme.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marren Bonacua, a proud alumna of the University of the Philippines, is deeply passionate about involvement in various fields, ranging from trade and food security to nutrition and women's issues. Beyond her professional pursuits, she enjoys reconnecting with nature and spending time with friends. You can connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linked.com/in/gmbonacua or at firstname.lastname@example.org