Yours, YVETTE Editor-in-Chief
Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp
In celebration of Women’s Month, we are proud to give you an issue where almost, if not all, featured personalities and enterprises are women. Women play an integral role in agriculture, yet they are often left out of the conversation when it comes to roles and policies. It’s often assumed that farming, fishing, and everything in between is a man’s job, and nothing could be further from the truth, much to the detriment of the women involved. There are women who farm, women who fish, women who process food, women who run businesses, and women who create policies. The sooner the world recognizes this and the sooner women gain an equal seat at the table, the easier it will be to achieve food security. Continuing to ignore, underestimate, and belittle the role of women in agriculture, aquaculture, and everything in between means continuing to allow a marginalized sector to be subject to inequality and abuse. It also means continuing to ignore a segment that has much to offer the industry by way of talent, resource, and creativity if given proper opportunity. On the cover we have Anna Beatriz Suavengco, an agriculture student and content creator driven to lead the youth towards choosing agriculture as a career. She leads and manages City Farm, a 200 square meter urban farm in Taguig where the local youth takes center stage. We also feature Sheena Tolentino Fideli of Vanilla Acres Gem Farm in Laguna who foresees demand for both vanilla cuttings for propagation and cured vanilla beans for culinary use to rise in the coming years; Jennie Lizza Pineda of Sunshine Ae L’s Quail Farm in Sta. Ana, Pampanga, a mother who runs a profitable side business raising quail for egg production; and former OFW Evelyn De Guzman-Breguera, who established Abundance Farm in Pangasinan as a source of income and as a way to promote natural farming as a sustainable livelihood. We also have a planting calendar, a general climate outlook for the month, and what festivals to look forward to in March, as well as pieces about women engaged in the ornamental business and post processing, among others. We often talk about the need to include women farmers in the conversation and yet this is rarely followed through, even in 2023. We hope that this issue helps highlight the role women can play in agriculture, and we hope that they are given the chance to showcase their true potential sooner rather than later.