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East Nusa Tenggara farmer among women 'food heroes'

Markus Makur

The Jakarta Post

Maumere, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara  /  Mon, October 17, 2016  /  04:17 pm
East Nusa Tenggara farmer among women 'food heroes'

Beatriks Rika (center) works on her research alongside other farmers in Sikka regency, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. (Courtesy of Wahana Tani Mandiri Maumere/File)

A farmer from East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Beatriks Rika, 48, is the only woman from the region to be recognized as Indonesian Women Food Heroes this year by Oxfam Indonesia.

The junior high school graduate from Lekebai village in Sikka regency, NTT, successfully crossbred Chiherang and Kapu rice seedling varieties into a new variety called F1. Beatriks has prepared the name of the new rice variety from her research: Padi 3S.

Prior to her research, Beatriks participated in workshops held by NGO Wahana Tani Mandiri and a Catholic church to study crossbreeding of rice seeds in her village

"We will plant this F1 variety and continue to research to see whether it will have the characteristics that we expect," she told The Jakarta Post at her home in Lekebai village on Saturday.

(Read also: ASEAN urged to appraise women'€™s roles in sustainable agriculture)

Six local farmers reportedly conducted similar research as part of Wahana Tani Mandiri's crossbreeding workshop. 

Separately, Wahana Tani Mandiri representative Herry Naif said such research might sound simple yet actually involved many internal and external factors that could either support or hamper the activity. "All five researchers conducted the study according to the steps given during the workshop. But only Beatriks has succeeded in crossbreeding the rice seed varieties of Chiherang and Kupa." 

Beatriks is one of nine women recognized as Indonesian Women Food Heroes by Oxfam Indonesia in 2016 in conjunction with World Food Day, which fell on Oct. 16. Announced in Jakarta on Sunday, the other heroes are Giyem from Pati in Central Java, Ummi Kalsum from Aceh Besar in Aceh, Seliwati from North Luwu in South Sulawesi, Daeng Karra from Makassar in South Sulawesi, Nurlina from Pangkep in South Sulawesi, Sri Rohani from Kebumen in Central Java, Catur Rini from Bogor in West Java and Erna Leka from Tulang Bawang in Lampung. (kes)

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