Various stories about women in agriculture had inspired and continuously empowered other women. In line with the celebration of the International Women’s Day, here are three stories about women in agriculture and their significant contributions which were recognized and lauded by public and private sectors.
1.Dragon fruit lady of the North
Ms. Edita Dacuycuy from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, one of most influential leaders in agriculture innovation, multi-awarded farmer-entrepreneur, inspired other Filipino women to never settle for less. Respectively, she is known as the Dragon fruit of the North because of her initiative in treating her daughter’s perennial constipation using the Dragon Fruit. Apart from that, she also had a dragon fruit farm in Ilocos which was recognized as the first organic dragon fruit plantation in the northern Philippines.
Moreover, at the age of 73, she is unstoppable in inspiring Filipino women in her province to consider farming as a way of life.
“Women of today, let us bravely and courageously face the challenges of our times. Let not be our gender a setback in the battle for economy and advancement”.
These were her words during her speech in various engagements to promote agribusiness and women as catalyst of change. To know more about her story, read here Millenial Pinay Encourages More Women to Engage in Agriculture.
2. A social entrepreneur in agriculture
In a young age of 32, Cherrie D. Atilano manages her own social enterprise farm in Marinduque known as AGREA. She identified the significance of women’s participation in agriculture. Through her farm, she was able to turn Marinduque’s economy with sustainable agriculture and inclusive agribusiness. Notably, her goal was to focus on “zero hunger (social goal), zero waste (environmental goal) and zero insufficiency (economic goal; they aim to lessen imports and increase value-added exports of agricultural goods).”
More interestingly, she engaged in farming when she was still a child. Her mother was forced to make a living in a sugar farm in Negros Occidental since her father died. At the age of 12, she was able to educate other farmers in their province. With her compassion for agriculture, she pursued her studies and became an agriculturist.
Read her full story here Young Filipina Empowers Women to Engage in Agriculture
3. Cacao and Durian agripreneur
On the other, Mrs. Mary Grace Belviz from Davao City had acquired opportunities in her Durian and Cacao farms. However, like any other successful businesses, she suffered from different challenges. One of those challenges is the over production of their crops. Hence, they were able to learn on ways in processing their crops.
To date, she administers Rosario’s Delicacies, wherein various Durian and Cacao products from her farms were being sold for souvenirs.
Full story here Belviz Farms: Lessons in Cacao Farming and Success in Business
Based on the statement of Cherrie Atilano, Philippine Rice Research Institute found out that women that work in agriculture receive lesser wage of almost Php108 a day relative to men yet, both acquire equal work. This is one of the challenges of being a women in agriculture.
With these in mind, these stories about women in agriculture have received various recognitions. According to the report of Philippine News Agency, Dacuycuy’s dragon fruit farm received numerous local, national and international awards. The farm continue to lead the way as a science-and-technology-based farm, where new innovations, such as zero-waste management practices, are shared to other farmers.
Significantly, AGREA received the first ASEAN social impact award. Also, MaryGrace Belviz and her husband were recognized as one of the key pillars of the Durian industry in Davao.