Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

Women’s role in food systems highlighted in NWMC

Author: DA Press Office | 8 March 2022

Agriculture Secretary William Dar recognized the active role of Filipino women as agents of food systems during the kick-off ceremony of this year’s National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC), on March 7, 2022.

The NWMC revolves around the six-year theme, “We Make Change Work for Women”, and sub-theme, “Agenda ng Kababaihan Tungo sa Kaunlaran”.

In his message, Secretary Dar acknowledged the importance of gender equality and women empowerment in alleviating poverty, empowering economies, sustainably managing natural resources, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and protecting and conserving the environment.

“Supporting women to claim their rights to equal access to agricultural resources would raise total agricultural output by 2.5-4 percent (%), and potentially reduce the number of hungry people by 12-17%. Providing adequate support to women in food systems is critical for the planet to feed nine billion people in 2050 and produce 50% more food,” he asserted.

The agri chief also believes in economically empowering women so that they can “reinvest in their families and communities, creating a multiplier effect that reinforces economic growth and strengthens the fabric of our nation.”

Undersecretary for High-Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn Laviña, concurrently Chairperson of the Department of Agriculture-Gender and Development (DA-GAD) Focal Point System, called for the need to review the DA’s plans related to gender and development.

“We have been reviewing and reflecting on how the DA has been implementing the gender equality and women empowerment anchored on the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) Plan 2019-2025 in formulating the GAD plan. We should review the implementation of our GAD budget and plans as per commodity needs because each commodity has a specific action needed in which the participation of women is very well needed,” she observed.

With the culmination of the six-year theme of the NWMC, Usec. Laviña also asked, “Did we really make the change work for women, and how to what context? As essential stakeholders and primary movers, we must gauge the changes implemented towards GEWE in pursuant to the law of women, particularly the Magna Carta for Women.”

The opening ceremony of the month-long celebration featured businesses by women agripreneurs, as well as an exhibit presenting the top four national winners of the 2021 DA Search for Outstanding Rural Women.

Guests of honor during the event were Embassy of Germany Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Anke Reiffenstuel, Embassy of Venezuela Minister Counsellor Royjar Seyeddi, Embassy of Malaysia First Secretary Nor Ayu Zie, Embassy of Brazil Head of Economic and Trade Section Eduardo Chikusa, and Embassy of Myanmar Spouse of Charge d affaires Nu Nu Sein and Second Secretary May Myo Khaing.

Also in attendance were members of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Quezon City Jail – Male Dormitory, which partnered with DA last month for the weekly installation of Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita stalls where relatives of inmates were able to buy low-priced agri products.

DA Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Deputy Executive Director Annray Rivera revealed that DA and BJMP have been discussing the reopening of Male Dormitory Kadiwa, which opened on February 26-27 and March 4-5,  and expressed willingness to open similar marketing centers in all BJMP offices nationwide.“We hope that DA, in partnership with BJMP, would be able to provide not only access to food, access to good nutrients, but also livelihood to the families of the people who are reforming in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology,” Rivera said. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)

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