The rain may not give it away, but the dry season in the Philippines has begun—and so has the next round of the illustrious Rice Survivor challenge here at IRRI. This time, I am more than happy to take on the challenge with my fellow team mates of the team RICEsilient. We are (in alphabetical order) Berta, Lisa, Lorie, Nikos, Rexie, Samir and Sara. Though we may come from very different parts of the world, we are united by our complete lack of experience in rice farming and by our motivation to make the most out of it—true to our motto Rice and Shine! As the other three teams in the challenge, we have a good five months ahead of us to make the most profit out of our small rice field on the IRRI premises. And in the past weeks since the challenge has officially begun, we have had time to get to know each other and to start planning the task ahead.
As our first meetings and expert sessions quickly taught us, we can be sure to know one thing: that we know nothing. (Having a Greek in the group, I think it is fair to quote Socrates here, right?) Rice farming is all about knowledge: how to prepare the land, when to apply fertiliser, which seed varieties to grow, how to get rid of those nasty snails and rats... These are just a few of the questions we will have to address in the following weeks, and some of them are more imminent than others. Luckily, we can draw upon the expertise and experience of the IRRI family to help us have an instructive and fun experience with Rice Survivor. We are looking forward to the challenge and will keep you updated on our progress.
|Rice and Shine! (And an iced latte, please...)|