Brazilian Rice Research: Travels to Porto Alegre
In the week of November 17, 2019, I had the opportunity to venture out to Brazil with my professors to take part in furthering research concerning rice technologies and methodologies. As someone with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Portuguese, being able to apply my Portuguese and economics skills together was a perfect opportunity for me. Initially, this project had begun as a paper that summarized information that was gathered from the Rio Grande do Sol Institute of Rice (IRGA), the organization that we were working with, sources concerning various projects known as “Project 10” and “Project 10+”. Although I had learned a lot from the information that was provided to me, it was all a very surface level understanding. I had a small sense of who was involved, why Project 10/10+ was implemented, and the details that surrounded it.
Many of these questions were resolved upon arriving in Porto Alegre and spending time with many of the farmers and technicians that were involved in creating many of the rice technologies. It was truly astonishing to me to be able to see how a program, such as the ones that IRGA put together, comes to be realized. This is the part of research that was completely new to me. Before this trip, it has always just been theory and computer work. Now, however, I had a chance to observe and participate in true field work, which was extremely valuable to me.
Overall, this trip was in all aspects a great experience, and I am very grateful to my college, professors, and IRGA for allowing me to be able to travel to a place that I have always dreamed of visiting and allowing me to take part in this research.