The Department of Agriculture (DA) wants to create a more gender-inclusive agriculture sector through its new loan program for women. The program Financial Assistance for Women in Agriculture and Fisheries, or AgriPinay, will address the loss of income and livelihood of Filipina farmers, fisherfolks and entrepreneurs during the pandemic. 

During the webinar titled “The role of women in developing a climate-smart seed system in the Philippines,” Agricultural Credit Policy Council director Jocelyn Badiola notes that most of their borrowers are women

“It’s interesting to note that they have been registering outstanding repayment rates, probably because women are naturally good financial managers,” she adds.

The program is still undergoing consultations with women’s groups but will be launched no later than Sept. 15. To support this, Philippine Rice Research Institute gender and development focal person Diadem B. Gonzales-Esmero expressed that “the contributions of women in farming are noteworthy, but their issues are not given much attention.”

Aside from the new loan program, the DA will also establish a National Seed Technology Park in Tarlac—the country’s first-ever seed technopark. This facility is expected to boost food security through the production of “affordable, quality, pest-resistant, high-yield, and climate-resilient seeds”. 

“One of the foundations of food security is an effective seed system. Thus, women, farmers should always be part of the decision-making process throughout the food value chain, including the choice and use of quality crop seeds,” says DA Secretary William Dar.

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