MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Monsanto Philippines and the Provincial Government of Bukidnon, through its Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), recently partnered to conduct a capacity building program on agricultural finance management and digital literacy to 300 women farmers in the province, helping them better manage their farming enterprise and augment overall farmer productivity.
Monsanto and PAO, together with the International Marketing Group-Wealth Academy, which stood as a speaker for the trainings, held the two-day capacity building program at the municipal gymnasiums of Maramag and Manolo Fortitch in Bukidnon. According to PAO’s Provincial Agriculturist Alson Quimba, the 300 participants were selected from 22 different municipalities in Bukidnon, mostly from the most underserved local communities in the province.
Monsanto Corporate Engagement Lead Charina Garrido-Ocampo said women play an important role in food production and distribution, having major participation in important farming activities such as budgeting, planting, harvesting, up to marketing of the produce. The agriculture industry in fact employs the 2nd most number of women in the Philippines, with over 2.9 million women involved in farming. Despite women’s significant role, they remain “invisible” in a largely perceived male-dominated job.
“Though rural women are considered to be active actors in farming, their real contributions to local food production and to the rural economy remain undervalued. Women collectively play crucial roles in fighting hunger not only within households, but on a larger scale, by ensuring the nutrition and food security of the nation. This program, more than being a capacity building activity, is meant to underscore women’s primary contributions and sacrifices to the growth of the agriculture sector,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo added that the initiative is expected to develop further their financial management capabilities and enhance their overall farm management potential. The seminar includes short courses on building a solid financial foundation, practical money management strategies, sound investment tactics, and the creation of multiple streams of passive income.
Meanwhile, the basic digital literacy training focused on teaching participants with basic computer concepts and skills so that they can be more productive both at home and in the field.
“We continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, especially from the private sector, in supporting our local growers and, in turn, our local agriculture through different awareness and capacity building initiatives. Through this training, we express our confidence in increasing the productive participation of women in local agriculture and food production,” said Quimba. (MONSANTO/TN)