As reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s agriculture sector grew by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, despite the pandemic and the Ilocos region has recorded a 1.23% increase in rice production for the first semester.

Behind these figures are the invaluable efforts of farmers who worked hard to secure the food chain supply. And as a country with an increased awareness of gender equality as brought by government policies and initiatives, how much of this should be attributed to men and how much to women?

The Department of Agriculture in its mandate for a food-secured and resilient Philippines, especially during this pandemic, cannot deny the significance of women’s role in agriculture.
In the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1, through its Gender and Development program, various interventions such as training on mushroom production, agri-based micro-enterprise, organic farming, and provision of start-up kits among others were implemented for the past years to support selected women’s groups.

Since 2017, DA-RFO 1 in partnership with the local government units has already assisted 75 women-led associations with members primarily of indigenous peoples and rural women.
For this year, additional 14 women associations were selected to receive mushroom and vegetable production projects amounting to PHP 30,000 and PHP 90,500, respectively.
In a turnover ceremony on September 3 and 4 in Pangasinan, recipients from the Magtaking Tribal Council – Bugallon, Mangaldan Federated Rural Improvement Club (RIC) – Mangaldan, and San Carlos City Federated RIC – San Carlos City, had warmly expressed their gratitude in receiving the projects.

“We’re indeed very fortunate to have been chosen as one among the recipients of this project of DA thru the Gender and Development (GAD) program.”, said Ms. Lourdes Jomero, President of Mangaldan Federated RIC and recipient of vegetable production starting kit, in her message for the members of the federated association who were present in the event.

Beyond the image of a housekeeper, especially in rural areas, the agency recognizes that empowering this vulnerable group of the population is also a major factor in increasing the potentials of the country’s agriculture should it be given adequate support and attention.

“Dito amin pong kinikilala ang inyong kontribusyon pagdating sa agrikultura. ‘Di lang po bilang nanay na taga-luto ng ulam, kundi kaya niyo na din pong magproduce ng sariling pagkain para po sa inyong pamilya. We are promoting the active participation of women in providing food for the family,” shared Ms. Jerlyn Labatete, DA-RFO1 GAD focal person, to the recipients.
These endeavors intended to expand both men and women farmers’ access to agricultural resources and economic options and were selected suiting the women’s productive activities. //

– RAFIS Ilocos Region FB Page