Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija – The science community here celebrated the county’s sustained good harvest in an exhibit dubbed as “Bountiful Harvest,” at the Rice Science Museum, Feb. 23.

Early this month, Sec. Proceso J. Alcala of the Department of Agriculture announced that the Philippine agriculture in 2014 has achieved growth despite “strong typhoons that battered some key production areas.” Palay output reached 19 million metric tons or 2.87 percent more than last year’s harvest.

Located at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the museum showcased farm implements from the colonial to modern era of Nueva Ecija, one of the country’s top producing rice provinces. A gallery on women’s contributions to good harvest was also displayed.

“One of the sections here features traditional postharvest materials from the farmers of Nueva Ecija that the Central Luzon State University collected. By viewing these artifacts, the visitor is given a glimpse of the past, when technology was simple and life was different,” Diadem Esmero, museum curator said.

Visitors from the science community such as the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization and the Philippine Carabao Center learned more about the intricacies of farm implements including rakem, lingkaw, and bangkang pangpinawa.

“Photographs on the ‘Woman of Rice’ also humble us with the strength and sacrifice that women give to agriculture,” she said.

In a study by Maria Daryl Leyesa in 2008, she found that women in agriculture spend as long as 11 hours of daily work during the planting and harvesting seasons. Women also spent 2.33 more days in harvesting than men and 2.75 more days in drying rice. Moreover, their top farm activities were planting, harvesting, weeding, and accessing production capital.

Traditional and modern rice varieties across the country were also displayed. # # # (PhilRice Development Communication Division)