Transcending Barriers in Agriculture through Gender and Development

Transcending Barriers in Agriculture through Gender and Development

Published: 2020.05.28
Accepted: 2020.05.28
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Senior Science Ressearch Specialist
Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD)
Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD)

ABSTRACT

Philippine agriculture has long been fraught with gender issues that made it systematically harder for rural women to have equal access to rural and agricultural resources such as land, farm inputs, and loans. Historically, women do not have enough representation as well in key decision-making bodies such as local government units (LGUs), rural organizations, and farmers’ cooperatives. In its pursuit to eradicate gender imbalance in the agricultural sector, the Philippine government enacted various legislative mandates including the Philippine Development Plan of Women, Women in Development and Nation Building Act, and the Magna Carta for Women. These landmark laws, along with concerted efforts from government agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs), had made significant strides in forwarding women’s rights and emancipating women in agriculture. However, despite the enactment of laws and government initiatives that seek to bolster women’s conditions in agriculture, most female farmers and fisherfolks remain relatively disenfranchised in comparison to their male counterparts. As of 2019, the agrarian reform programs of the country has awarded land titles and ownership to majority of male farmers, with only around 28% female beneficiaries. Wage disparity still persists in the agricultural workforce as well, as female labor is generally underpaid and not equally valued. Thus, gender equality and women empowerment in the sector is yet to be fully realized in so far as women are accorded equal and full representation in the decision-making process when devising agriculture-related initiatives and programs.

INTRODUCTION

Gender conditions in Philippine agriculture

History reveals that women, more often than not, have taken the backseat in terms of equal access to social and economic opportunities. This holds true even in the agriculture sector with several reports and studies indicating that Philippine agriculture has been predominantly male-oriented for the longest time. In 1990, 85% of the agricultural workforce was composed of men whereas only 48% of female rural population was categorically hired under farming and fishing systems (Estudillo, 2001). The recent data on gender statistics showed that not much has changed with the social demographics of the agriculture sector. The agricultural labor force is still mainly composed of men at 77% while only 23% of the employed workers under agriculture are women (PSA, 2018). Sex-disaggregated data on major industries showed that majority (31%) of women are employed in wholesale and retail trade industry, while the biggest (32%) employer for men remains to be agriculture, hunting, and forestry, fishing, and mining and quarrying (PSA, 2020).

Wage disparity between male and female workers persisted primarily because women were employed under mediocre-paying jobs. Farm operations such as planting, manual weeding, and crop establishment are accorded lower salaries in comparison to plowing, land preparation, and care of irrigation canals, which are traditionally carried out by men (Pandey et al., 2010). Average wage rate from 2013-2016 indicated that male farmers were paid US$0.30 (range: US$0.20 – US$0.40) more than women farmers (Bueno, 2018). On top of that, rural women are also tasked to do household chores, take care of children, and budget the overall family income while juggling farm works, putting multiple work burden on them (Ashraf, 2009). A study conducted with rice farmers in the Philippines indicated that women farmers in the country are the least empowered in terms of time and drudgery domain compared to other Southeast Asian women farmers. They are usually overburdened both by reproductive and productive roles with less manageable workload and no sufficient time to relax (Akter et al., 2017). Due to lower wage rate and decreased valuation of their labor, some rural women opt to migrate to urban areas to find better job opportunities for sustenance of family needs (UNFPA, 2007). In 2018, more women, 56% of the total overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), are also working overseas despite the relatively lower pay than men (PSA, 2020).

In terms of agricultural inputs, women were significantly disadvantaged as well and have less access to resources such as farm lands and financial capital. Due to lack of property rights and outdated inheritance laws, women have limited purchasing power and so are predisposed to own less land than men (Layton and MacPhail, 2013). In a study conducted by Quisumbing et al. (2014), women from communities of rice farming systems are more likely to inherit non-land assets, such as house appliances or their parents’ personal belongings, in contrast to their male counterparts who are given land ownership. In 2019, land ownership of women as indicated by the total emancipation patent (EP) awarded and the total certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) given were only 23% and 31%, respectively (PSA, 2020).

Accessibility on farm financial assistance for female farmers has historically been low as well. Credit schemes for farmers and fisherfolks such as bank-managed credit programs for mainstream farms and fisheries communities are often designed to offer small loans for women, which hinders the expansion of scale of farm operations especially for female-headed households (Fletschner, 2008). In 2018, production loans of all banks (both commercial and rural banks) increased by 14.87%. However, data for agricultural loans were not sex disaggregated (PSA, 2018).

On participation to agricultural organizations, the Philippines has the National Coalition of Rural Women (Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan or PKKK) composed of organizations of women small-scale agricultural producers, fishers, indigenous peoples, and formal and informal workers in the rural areas. The law, as mandated under the Magna Carta of Women (MCW), requires that 40% of all representatives in local special bodies, including sector-specific councils be comprised of women. However, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) pointed that women are not as widely represented as men in agricultural organizations, cooperatives, rural councils, “bantay-dagat” or law enforcement agencies due to gender biases (FAO, 2018).

Since agriculture in the country has been male-dominated, there is poor recognition of women as farmers. Limited extension services maybe targeted for women. The Registry System on Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and Fisherfolk Registration System (FishR) have limited registry of women farmers and fisherfolks in their databases. The data entries predominantly consist of information from male farmers and fisherfolks who are traditionally regarded as head of the household. While current efforts are being made to update these databases, recognition among local government units (LGUs) and extension workers should provide venue to more access to trainings and services for women. FAO (2018) emphasized that the Farmer Field School (FFS) and the Farmer Business Schools (FBS) are among the development initiatives to promote gender equality.

Inclusivity requires that nobody is left behind and that all stakeholders can equally contribute and share the benefits from development initiatives. Gender dimension is a key concern to highlight essential roles, both of men and women, in achieving agricultural development in the country. This paper provides discussion on the status of gender and development in the agriculture sector in the Philippines. The first section gives an overview of how gender and development (GAD) has evolved while the second part discusses the pertinent laws to mainstream GAD in agriculture. Lastly, challenges and gaps as well as some policy recommendations are provided.

Evolution of Gender and Development (GAD)

During the First World Conference on Women held at Mexico City in 1975, development agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations (UN) had come up with a general consensus on systematic approaches tackling women’s issues. The Women in Development (WID) approach was introduced globally immediately after the conference. This approach aimed to increase visibility and valuation for the productive work that women contribute to gross development. WID approach also geared towards redressing women’s conditions through funneling development resources to projects that benefit women (WMO, 2014). However, critiques on the WID approach pointed out that it does not take into account the wider economic and social context which underlies the power imbalance between men and women. As a result, it fell short to consider that women’s issues affect men as well, which means to say that interactions between the two genders are pivotal in addressing unequal relations (Doss, 2011).

Consequentially, WID evolved into a new approach which was then coined as Women and Development (WAD). More than developing strategies to raise women’s involvement and contribution to development, WAD approach focuses on development processes and ways by which they affect women. It asserts that global economic structures inherently put women at a disadvantage due to inequitable wealth distribution, and that integrating women into the current landscape of development only exacerbates such global inequalities (Department for International Development, 2002). Despite the role of WAD approach in highlighting the importance of women’s contribution towards defining a meaningful development, this approach had received backlash as it purely accounts class and global inequalities for women’s issues. Such rhetoric undermines patriarchy as a major contributory factor in preventing women’s development. WAD approach had also been criticized to cluster women in the same box just like the WID approach, notwithstanding the social relations governing men and women, and how that stirs development (Muyoyeta, 2002).

With a meticulous probe on women’s experiences in development, feminist groups finally came up with Gender and Development (GAD) approach, which is an amalgamation of reflections from WID and WAD. The GAD approach analyzes the dynamic, unequal power relations between women and men from a multi-faceted perspective. Instead of just concentrating on providing women’s projects, GAD approach offers a framework to examine the existing political, social, and economic structures that allow gender issues to continuously persist. It has also allowed for the development of new gender-sensitive policies in place that are cognizant of perspectives of all genders. In lieu of this new approach, the concept of gender mainstreaming has been concurrently employed by multiple development agencies in the promotion of gender equality (IFPRI, 2014). In 2002, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched the Gender and Development Plan of Action, which calls for the full and equal participation of men and women in rural and agricultural development. It is an unequivocal recognition that emancipation of all genders is a prerequisite to eradicating rural poverty and food insecurity (FAO, 2017).

MAINSTREAMING GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT IN PHILIPPINE AGRICULTURE

The Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country that signified support to the global efforts in mainstreaming gender and development. The country’s participation in the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) paved the way for the advancement and empowerment of Filipino women through various policies and programs in place. Specific to agriculture, the CEDAW’s thrusts and objectives emphasized in the resolution passed during the 1981 Conference on Equality, National Independence, and Peace included greater involvement for women on agricultural technology training and management, providing increased access to women on time-saving technologies to reduce drudgery of farm work, and rigid examination of policies for equal protection of women from subcontractors. The following are the policies and programs enacted and developed in the Philippines in support of GAD.

Philippine Development Plan for Women

The Philippine Development Plan for Women (PDPW) 1989-1992, a multi-lateral effort from government line agencies, non-government women’s groups, and rural organizations was promulgated under the administration of President Corazon Aquino through Executive Order (EO) No. 348. The plan served as a substantial reference in battling discriminatory policies and practices against women and ensure women’s equal claim to development resources. Among the various government agencies that supported the plan were the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and the Department of Natural Resources (DENR).

PDPW recognized the contribution of women to economic growth. In the agricultural sector, PDPW was crafted to sensitize policymakers and planners on the issues besetting women; to heighten the awareness of rural population of the participation of women in rural/agricultural development; to strengthen support system and extension services for effective participation of women; to expand income-generating activities for rural women; to ensure availability and accessibility of credit; to promote technological innovations to improve rural women’s productivity; to provide for rural infrastructure and facilities responsive to the needs of women; strengthen R&D to address issues and problems of rural women; and to support women’s organizations.

Women in Development and Nation Building Act

Republic Act 7192 or “An Act Promoting the Integration of Women as Full and Equal Partners of Men in Development and Nation Building and for Other Purposes”, popularly known as the “Women in Development and Nation Building Act” emphasized on the State’s recognition of the role of women in nation building. RA 7192 ensures the fundamental equality of women and men before the law and in terms of equal opportunities and rights. In particular, Section 5 of the law “Equality in Capacity to Act,” provides for the equal rights of women and men to act and enter into contracts. Women shall have the capacity to borrow and obtain loans. Moreover, they shall have equal access to all government and private sector programs on agricultural credit. Equal access of rural women to resources and trainings are also emphasized. This law also requires to allocate a significant portion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for initiatives supporting women in agriculture (Taguiwalo, 2015).   

Noteworthy to mention that in the same period RA 7192 was enacted, there has been a palpable increase in rural women’s representation both in legislative bodies and non-government organizations (NGOs). In early 1991, NGO coalitions congregated in order to define a concrete GAD strategy and framework. In fact, NGO projects that focused on areas of livestock, fisheries, food security, and forestry increased to 87% in 1992 as compared to 67% in 1985. Women were capacitated on small-scale enterprises which involved hog-raising and processing of agri-fishery products. Majority of rural-oriented NGOs provided greater financial assistance for women in rural communities from an average of 33% in 1986 to 45% in 1992. As a whole, all these NGO initiatives have positively affected a number (55%) of women beneficiaries (Sobritchea, 2004).

Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development, 1995-2025

After the adoption of the Philippine Development Plan for Women on a national scale, the Philippine Plan for Gender Responsive Development (PPGD) was crafted and promulgated through EO No. 273 on September 8, 1995. The PPGD sets forth the long-term GAD goals and objectives of the Philippines to be accomplished in 30 years. It is the initiative of the government that emphasized on mainstreaming GAD in strategies, policies, and program areas for implementation in different sectors of the government. It recognized the need for establishing the GAD Focal Points as the key unit in the institutionalization of GAD.

As a head start, various agencies such as DA, DAR, and DENR formed GAD focal points, including relevant and concrete programs, projects, and initiatives to address GAD concerns in their respective thrusts. Each agency identified coordination committees with representatives from regional offices, bureaus, and attached offices. The committees were tasked to facilitate planning, monitoring, and evaluation of women’s concerns and participation in rural and agricultural sectors (Lastarria-Cornhiel, 2008). Meanwhile, the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (currently, the Philippine Commission on Women) and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) were tasked to monitor the implementation of PPGD and conduct the periodic assessment of the plan.

Other  GAD-related policies in agriculture

The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) or RA 6657 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) or RA 9700 promote the rights of women independent of their male relatives to own and control land and its harvest. The laws also mandate the equal representation of both sexes in advisory and decision-making bodies of CARP (Corral, 2015).

The Philippines also promotes the welfare of women in the fisheries sector. As indicated in the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 or RA 8550, the State provides support to the municipal fisherfolk, including women and youth sectors, through appropriate technologies and R&D, facilities for production and post-harvest, marketing assistance and other services. The law mandates the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to coordinate with LGUs to enable women to engage in fisheries and other economic activities. The Municipal/City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (M/CFARMCs) and Integrated Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (IFARMCs) should also include women representatives and be part of decision-making process.

The Agri-Agra Law of 2009 or RA 10000 which mandates the banking institutions to provide 25% of its loanable amount for agriculture and fisheries sectors. The law emphasized on being gender-neutral in defining qualified borrowers.

The Magna Carta of Women

Republic Act 9710, more commonly known as The Magna Carta of Women (MCW), is a landmark law that has marked substantial progress in the country’s pursuit of gender equality with its enactment in 2009. It is an initiative mainly to promote a more gender-responsive governance through galvanizing women’s active participation in program development and policy-making across all levels and sectors. The MCW is a women’s rights law that provides indivisible recognition and protection of the rights of Filipino women and targets to eradicate discrimination against women, particularly those in the marginalized sectors (Villarin and Ramos, 2009). Additionally, MCW also compels all government agencies to allot at least 5% of the total agency budget for Gender and Development. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of MCW were released in July, 2010 by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The PCW is a government institution under the Office of the President which is mandated to monitor and serve as an oversight body to ensure the effective implementation of the MCW.

The MCW provided for the strong support to the agriculture sector especially women engaged in small farms, forest areas, plantations, small-scale mining, handicrafts, and other related farm and off-farm activities. It also involves those who are directly or indirectly engaged in taking, culturing, or processing fishery or aquatic resources. Section 20 of the law stipulated the vital role of women in food production by giving priority to their rights to land ownership, access to credit and infrastructure support, technical training, and technological and marketing assistance. Women-friendly technologies shall be given importance in the conduct of agricultural activities. Among the women-friendly technologies developed for agriculture include the fishing gears in Regions 5 and 11 under the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Research (PCAARRD, 2015); the farm equipment developed by the Philippine Rice Institute (PhilRice) such as the “laboy” tiller, drumseeder, continuous rice huller carbonizer and micromill; and the organic vegetable farming technologies introduced by the GAD projects of PCAARRD to women farmers in Los Baños, Laguna.   

GAPS AND CHALLENGES TOWARDS GENDER EQUALITY IN AGRICULTURE

Despite the handful victories landed for women, the Philippines has yet to tread a long path towards the full realization of gender equality and women empowerment (GEWE), particularly in the agriculture sector. While it is true that pro-women laws are already weaved in the country’s legislative landscape, most of these laws are still lacking vehement implementation in order to have their supposed benefits trickle down to women. For instance, clear mechanisms and effective systems need to be developed to ensure compliance to Women in Development and Nation Building Act which demands the allocation of funds under Official Development Assistance (ODA) for women’s projects and activities. Land titling systems of the Department of Agrarian Reform under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) have overwhelmingly awarded land ownership certificates to male farmers. Out of the more than 2.5 million titles (EPs and CLOAs) awarded as of 2019, only 28% were given to women.

More importantly, women are still widely underrepresented in decision-making bodies and positions in the government. This is indicated in the significant dropped of the country’s standing in the 2020 Global Gender Gap Report. In 2019, the Philippines ranked 16th among the gender equal countries in the world, a drop of 8 notches from its standing in 2018. The slide in position was attributed to the considerable widening of the political empowerment gap, from 13th place in 2018 to 29th place in 2019 (Paris, 2019; World Economic Forum 2020). There was significant decreased in female representation under the current President Rodrigo Duterte administration, dropping from 25% in 2017 to 10% in 2019. This trend was observed in the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council which is composed of representatives with a ratio of one woman to 21 men within the national and provincial committees, and one woman to five men ratio at the barangay level (David et al., 2017). This widespread low female representation can be attributed to the lack of awareness on women’s legal rights and entitlement to memberships in decision-making bodies, which is more prevalent among women in the agricultural sector. This is also one of the impediments that contribute to different forms of gender inequality in agrarian reform.

To date, women’s roles and productive output for rural economy and food security are undervalued. Women remains to be treated as subordinates or assistants of male family members, and their tasks in farming and fishing systems are either underpaid or unpaid since they are mostly considered as part of the household chores. In aquaculture, women are actively involved in fish cage preparation, collection and feeding of seedlings, and marketing tasks and yet women’s contributions to food production are often disregarded (Salazar & Quisimbing, 2009). Another barrier in agriculture is that most rural women are unregistered in agricultural and fisheries databases such as the RSBSA and FishR. The absence or lack of information on women in these databases makes inclusion systematically harder as it fails to recognize female machine operators, tillers, and other female farmers as well as fisherfolks that ought to receive technical and training assistance. The important roles and interests of women in value chains in the agriculture and fisheries sectors might also be left out. 

The PCW has also recently indicated in their reports that gender biases still plague agricultural organizations, “bantay-dagat” groups, and law enforcement agencies which exacerbate underrepresentation of women in these key decision-making bodies. This was also affirmed by the National Coalition of Rural Women, which reported that women still struggle to gain greater representation in organizations of agricultural producers, fishers, and indigenous peoples in rural areas (CEDAW, 2015).

Constraints on access of rural women to credit, loans, and other financial services continue to hamper their ability to set up and maximize income-generating activities. The Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009 makes it compulsory for banks and other financial institutions to allocate 25% of allowable loanable funds for customers from agriculture and fisheries sectors. However, as of 2017, financial institutions failed to set aside 15% of their funds and disbursed only a meager 1% out of the 10% quota for agrarian reform beneficiaries, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Women also remains to be barred and oftentimes locked out of agriculture value chains due to prevalent gender stereotypes like notions that women are most suitable as caregivers or housewives and men are more skilled in managing cash crops. Access and mobility of women in enterprises and market chains are limited which heavily reduces their ability to negotiate and link agricultural produce to potential supplier and buyers (GIZ, 2017).

Gender wage gap still persists in agriculture. In 2016, male agricultural workers had an average wage of US$5.50 per day whereas daily wage rate for female workers was approximately US$5.10 only (PSA, 2017). This disparity in daily national nominal wage rate between men and women farmers reflected almost 6.5% difference and is still rooted on the antiquated norm that treats women’s farming activities such as planting and weeding as less profitable farm tasks than men’s traditional jobs like plowing and preparation of irrigation canals. Occupational hazards that may come with agricultural work are often tackled from men’s lens, and so occupational health risks experienced by female agricultural workers such as the deleterious effects of pesticides to female reproductive health are seldom taken into account (Lu, 2010). Interviews with women from Northern Philippines also revealed that most female farmers experienced sickness due to laborious farm tasks almost twice a year. Approximately, 70% of the interviewed women farmers reported feeling fatigue, muscle pains, and weakness after prolonged exposure to insecticides and pesticides. But only 20% of those women consulted medical treatment because economic profit is more prioritized than health issues within the families (Pandey et al., 2010). A study by Akter, et al. (2017) indicated that women in the Philippines are usually overburdened both by farming and household responsibilities. This led to poor well-being and poor health of women in general.

The enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991 prompted the decentralization on the provision of extension services in the country from the central government to LGUs. It was later proved to be ineffective as concerns of farmers and fisherfolks were not prioritized by some cities and municipalities (Ani and Correa, 2016). There is also a long history of agricultural advisory services not reaching rural women primarily because extension agents of LGUs and regional offices of line agencies do not recognize women as legitimate and capable farmers. Studies showed that only 14% of women farmers received financial assistance, 23% accessed extension services, 29% were provided seeds, and 21% were given seeds subsidy and fertilizers (PAKISAMA, 2015). Participation of women to agriculture-related trainings has always been at bare minimum and conditionally gets the chance to participate in such trainings if their husbands are busy at the farm. Only 26% of women accessed agriculture-related trainings and 20% pest control management (DAR, 2016). It is also in dire need to develop agricultural technologies that are sensitized to needs and priorities of women.

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TOWARDS A GENDER-RESPONSIVE AGRICULTURE

Dismantling generations of gender inequality in agriculture can be arduous due to the complex nature of systematic barriers engrained in the sector that keeps women on an unequal playing field with men. But a good starting point would be ensuring that women have equal access to all the resources and opportunities available to men. Engrained in the principle of inclusion, that nobody is left behind, the country has signified its strong support to mainstreaming GAD in government programs and initiatives through the enactment of various laws and the establishment of the Philippine Commission on Women.      

The landmark law for women embodied in the Magna Carta of Women provided for the State’s recognition of the important role of women in nation building and development. This includes the provision of equal opportunities and resources to both men and women. In agriculture, important resources include among others, land, credit, participation to decision-making bodies/organizations and capacity building through trainings and extension services.

Agricultural lands are pivotal input in food production and granting land rights to more women farmers would positively affect their conditions inside the family as well as in the community (PAKISAMA, 2015). Access to land titles would also improve women’s ability to obtain credits and loans and other farm inputs such as seed subsidy and irrigation services. It is more likely for them to assert themselves and receive extension services from LGUs and agencies with a secure land tenure. A full claim on ownership of the land would also allow women to devise better plan farm production and implement crop diversification in the long run, as opposed to being beholden to their husbands on decisions concerning farm operations (Swaminathan et al., 2012). Given such, there is a need to increase female beneficiaries under CARP. In 2019, majority (72%) of the EPs and CLOAs were awarded to men.

Women empowerment can also be achieved by bolstering women representation in rural and agricultural organizations. This entails women participants and representatives in key decision-making bodies such as the Municipal Agricultural and Fisheries Council, Regional Agricultural and Fisheries Council, and agri-fisheries cooperatives. Taking active roles in such organizations could empower women to become productive and effective partners for rural development through initiating programs that they feel are beneficial for them and their family like livelihood capability building activities. Since women are also major stakeholders of value chains for food security, agriculture and fisheries systems are yet to be designed to be more gender-responsive. Gender concerns must be addressed in local-level programming and policy levels in order to diminish barriers like social customs that limits women’s access to niche markets and agricultural networks (Slavchevska et al., 2016). An example of gender-based intervention in agricultural value chains is the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women or GREAT Women 2 project implemented by PCW together with other government agencies and private sectors. With enterprise competitive analysis, this project offered technical assistance and trainings for women on micro-enterprises that are lucrative based on priority industry clusters of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It also provided assistance on environmentally sustainable production practices, technology upgrading, and educating both men and women on intermediary industries and market links (DTI, 2017).

Lastly, agricultural development in rural areas can also be more gender-responsive through innovative means of delivering extension services to those who need it the most. Capability building seminars and trainings should not just tackle agricultural techniques and interventions but also inculcate gender equality during discussions to foster exchange of ideas between different genders and enable men to change their views on women in agriculture. It is integral to educate rural communities that women are as knowledgeable and skilled farmers as men, and are equally capable of assuming managerial roles in farm operations and food production chains (International Labour Organization, 2015). Meanwhile, a great way to increase women’s agricultural productivity is to commercialize gender-friendly technologies. Women also deserve to have improved access to information on emerging technologies, and agencies have to devise more means to disseminate their projects and programs to all target beneficiaries and end-users. Sex-disaggregated databases to include pertinent information of both and men and women can be an important source in designing a more holistic and gender-responsive programs and interventions.                                    

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[1] Exchange rate used: US$ = PhP 50.58. Based from the Reference Exchange Rate of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on May 22, 2020

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