Award for Filipina Champion
Category : Updates
Professor Arlyn Mandas has been selected as the AwF Woman of the Month for May 2015. We honour Arlyn in working with the Aquaculture Department, College of Fisheries, Mindanao State University in the Philippines for the last 20 years, engaging with the aquaculture students and assisting the rural and urban people whose livelihood is fish farming.
Arlyn works with the objective of helping the fish farmers attain continuous improvement in both production and profit. Through the Consultancy for Agricultural Productivity Enhancement (CAPE) Program of the Government of the Philippines-Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Arlyn has helped over 250 fish farmers in Region XII alone, excluding her involvement in other regions of the country. Constantly and actively involved in the on-going aquaculture research of the United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) in the Philippines as a national consultant Arlyn is ‘making a difference’.
One of her remarkable achievements is the introduction of the culture of Pacific white shrimp at Lebak, Sultan Kudarat where people have wide underutilized areas for fish/shrimp production. With the help of Prof. Mandas, fishpond operators started the culture of white shrimps and their production and profit significantly improved. From a few people who attended her seminar on white shrimp culture in late 2013 and feed production trainings in 2014, to date, shrimp culture is now an emerging industry in this part of the country. Since the first introduction of the shrimp culture in 2013 until this time, Prof. Mandas has been in constant support to the shrimp farmers providing technical assistance, and also linking the farmers to good markets and sources of farm inputs. She helps them with access to financial assistance from the government by preparing project proposals for them, all of which have been approved and funded and consequently benefited the fish farmers, their families and community.
Aside from her direct involvement in the aquaculture industry, she has helped youth to have a better appreciation for aquaculture. Being a strong advocate of modern instruction, she has established collaboration of her students with those of Dr Konrad Dabrowski at the Ohio State University, Ohio, USA, hence greatly improving the quality of their research. Arlyn supports alleviating poverty and malnutrition, advancing food security, transferring knowledge and technology, and develops increased capability and capacity.
As a single mother of three children with “special needs” she has overcome many obstacles and adversities and helped develop aquaculture in her region. She has successfully penetrated this predominantly male bastion and established a niche that is unique. Her unwavering determination to make a difference and be productive in her field despite her having her own family difficulties makes her an excellent role model for other women in the aquaculture industry.
AwF will honour all AwF Women of the Month during a special activity at World Aquaculture 2015 in Jeju, Korea – 26-30 May 2015.