A Bicolana farmer and three others were recognized for their achievements in agriculture and food production during the recent 33rd celebration of the World Food Day for the Asia-Pacific region held in Bangkok, Thailand on October 16, 2013.
Myrna Conmigo Asor of Goa, (Partido district) Camarines Sur received a Food and Agriculture (FAO) award alongside with Sithar Dendup from Bhutan, Jarun Jaroensab from Thailand, and Malia Sosefo Guttenbeil from Tonga in ceremonies held at FAO’s regional office for Asia and the Pacific, in Bangkok.
Asor, who was selected as one of the Philippine’s “Outstanding Rural Women” in 2011, is an organic farming advocate as she keeps her farm free from harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides and makes use of traditional rice varieties, and keeps 50 varieties in her own “seed bank.”
The 56-year old lady farmer also grows vegetables, fruits, and root crops, and raises animals and fish for her family’s consumption. She also harvests other crops like coconuts, abaca, pineapple, pili, and gabi leaves as source of additional income.
She also shares her experiences and technologies on sustainable agriculture as she is often invited as a resource person in farmers’ trainings, workshops and seminars in various provinces around the country.
Dignitaries present during the World Food Day celebration in Bangkok included: UN Undersecretary-General Noeleen Heyzer, who is also the concurrent Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Yukol Limlamthong; other senior Thai government officials; Bangkok-based members of the diplomatic corps; representatives of UN agencies and civil society organizations.
This year’s World Food Day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition,” reflecting the FAO concept that healthy people depend on healthy food system (from PNA report)