WITH its recognition of the major role of women in Philippine agriculture, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has given the government a much-needed boost in the eyes of female farmers.
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said women farmers must be part of the vital decision-making process throughout the food value chain, including the choice and use of “quality crop seeds.”
Note that “food security” has been always been the focus of national and local government officials in impoverished Philippines, where farmers and fishers comprise the bulk of the population.
And with Dar at the helm of the agriculture department, the Duterte administration is seen to address the agriculture sector’s concerns on the road to winning the battle against poverty.
In fact, Dar, a world-renowned horticulturist, assured that his department will push for a stronger gender-inclusive seed system to further boost food production and farmers’ incomes.
Dar said the DA will continue to empower woman farmers being indispensable partners of their farmer-husbands, brothers or sons. Together, they form our formidable food security army.
He made the statement during a recently-held webinar on “The role of women in developing a climate-smart seed system in the Philippines.” It was organized by the Philippine International Potato Center.
DA, in partnership of other groups, particularly the Bases Conversion Development Authority, will establish a National Seed Technology Park (NSTF) at the New Clark Green City in Tarlac.
Dar said he wants to bring together major seed industry stakeholders, like women farmers, entrepreneurs and local government officials, to be part of the country’s first ever seed technopark.
We commend DA for empowering rural women and providing them benefits and equal opportunities in terms of technical assistance and interventions, similar to their male counterparts.