DA holds the first ever Women Agribiz Summit which underscores the efforts of women in creating a mark in the agribiz industry with help from government agencies. 


Benchmarking from empowered women of today, the Department of Agriculture (DA) staged recently the first ever Women Agribusiness Summit: “Women in Agriculture Break Barriers”, a town hall consultation, held at the BSWM Convention Hall, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City and via virtual platform.

Organized by the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Program Directorate Office and Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System, said event highlighted the efforts of women in partnership with DA, its attached bureaus and agencies, including other government agencies in helping them create a mark in the agribiz industry.

Moreover, it forms part as one of the preparatory activities of the 2021 United Nations (UN) Food System under the Thematic Area of GAD to be convened in September, this year.

In her opening remarks, Evelyn G. Laviña, undersecretary for high value crops and chairperson of GAD Focal Point System expressed, “women all over [the country] who are in agriculture and agribusiness never surrendered to the debilitating and paralyzing effect of the pandemic to the simple Filipino people and their livelihood.”

She added, that instead the innate strength, determination and resilience of Filipino women found an unexpected stage to manifest itself in an incomparable manner, breaking barriers and helping transform the Philippine agriculture during COVID-19 and beyond into a dynamic and resilient sector essential for the country to speed up recovery by ensuring strengthened food value chains and a vibrant rural economy.”

USec. Laviña furthered, that the event aims to share the invited outstanding women’s success stories for others to draw inspiration from, underscoring what they’ve accomplished, how they’ve hurdled challenges amid the ongoing pandemic and accessed government services to enhance their entrepreneurial activities.

Accounting their feats were Jade Calingasan of Woodybag Mushroom Farm (mushroom and alamang production); Ma. Frances A. Rubio of Greenlife Coconut Product Philippines (virgin coconut oil and other coco-based products); Christina O. Generoso of Pinagdanlayan Rural Improvement Club Multipurpose Cooperative (ginger and turmeric brew); Cherrylyn S. Mendoza of Moolk Creamery, Corp. (dairy products); and Marites Benico of Pinagbuklod na Adhika Multipurpose Cooperative (brown rice and rice brew).

DA Secretary William D. Dar reiterated, that said affair also highlights on working towards the adopted fifth goal of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which is the enforcement of gender equality.

While efforts are being done by gender advocates globally, the DA chief equally recognizes in bridging the gaps to address such goal in the society.

“We know that one of the gender issues that surfaced in studies is women’s lack or limited access to services that will improve their productivity and income and this is being given primordial consideration in the crafting of the yearly GAD plan and budget of the department,” the secretary pronounced.

Some P5.51 billion were allocated by DA-Central Office, its regional field offices and bureaus out of the consolidated budget of P32.41 billion from the General Appropriations Act, while DA’s attached agencies and corporations have also apportioned amounts for GAD activities in accordance with their mandated functions, Dar reported.

“With one resolve [by the One DA family], we continue our quest to empower women. We have made sure that the registry of farmers and fisherfolk reflects is disaggregated into male and female, so much so that we will be able to project in our planning and implementation women’s inclusion in the targeted beneficiaries of DA’s various services,” he added.

The agri secretary also noted, that registration is still ongoing and he extends his hopes that more will register and be able to access government services that would aid them in their agri-fishery based activities and enterprises.

For Northern Mindanao, DA-10 facilitated the attendance of around 15 delegates on-site in the city of Cagayan de Oro from its employee’s association, Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance and Field Operations divisions. #(JLO)