OKA Naoko (Rural Development Division) : Female Researcher

What motivated you to pursue international agriculture, forestry and fisheries research?

 I wanted to realize prosperous agriculture through irrigation development. Although irrigation development is sometimes viewed negatively, it can enrich both the production and living environments by sending water to places where it is lacking. As a new graduate, I worked in a technical position in the field of agricultural and rural development in Japan and abroad, but later switched to a research position. I am now very happy to be able to participate in research efforts to verify our own ideas through tests and surveys, and to integrate the results obtained into collective knowledge, thereby creating a better world one step at a time.


Please introduce your current research.

 I am working on the evaluation of irrigation potential in Africa and the issue of allocation of water for domestic use and irrigation. In an environment that differs from that of Japan, discussions with my joint research partners and interviews in rural villages are full of discoveries, surprises, and enjoyment.


What message would you like to convey to female students?

 About half of the world's population is female. Almost half of the agricultural producers are women. In a world where men and women are not biologically and socially equal, what should researchers and research do to ensure that the voices of the other half are properly reflected in society? First of all, I believe there must be more female researchers!