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AGREA leads largest women-farmers conference

Together with Siargao LGUs, AGREA envisions to make Siargao the first women-led agriculture island in the Philippines 

DEL CARMEN, SIARGAO – 700 Siargaonons participated in the “More Love for Women Farmers” conference, on 23 February 2019, at the Del Carmen Convention Center, Del Carmen Surigao del Norte. It is so far the largest gathering of women-farmers in the Philippines. The conference is led by AGREA, together with the Office of Congressman Bingo Matugas, the Province of Surigao del Norte, and the Del Carmen LGU.

All nine municipalities of Siargao with its women-farmer leaders, young Siargaonon agri-movers, agricultural officers, local police force, and students, participated and were inspired to lead the island’s agriculture sector.


700 Siargaonons participated in the “More Love for Women Farmers” conference, on 23 February 2019, at the Del Carmen Convention Center, Del Carmen Surigao del Norte.

AGREA envisions to make Siargao the first women-led agriculture island in the Philippines. Powerhouse of multi-awarded women agripreneurs namely; AGREA’s Founding Farmer - Cherrie Atilano, “Dragonfruit Queen of the Philippines” – Edita Dacuycuy, and “Seedling Queen of Bulacan” – Daisy Duran, inspired and empowered the women farmers by sharing their success stories.

“In a field research conducted by AGREA, we found out that majority of the men are leaving their farmlands to take part in the booming tourism industry here in Siargao, as habal-habal drivers, or construction workers. The women are left behind to plant vegetables, take care of livestock, and apply loans for farm capitalization. These are opportunities for women farmers that need to be prioritized”, shared by multi-awarded agri Change Maker, and AGREA’s Founding Farmer and CEO Cherrie Atilano. “Women farmers here in Siargao will play an important role in redefining and revitalizing Siargao’s agriculture sector,” she added.

“Siargao is the number one island in Asia, and might be in the world. But, when food security will never be addressed, this will not matter at all,” said Congressman Bingo Matugas in his opening message for the conference.

Congressman Matugas is in full support, and is committed to make Siargao food secure, sufficient, and sustainable.

Powerhouse women farmers, Seedling Queen Daisy Duran and PH Dragonfruit Queen, inspired the Siargaonons with their agri stories of perseverance and hard work.

‘Dragonfruit Queen of the Philippines’ Edita Dacuycuy, shared her success and inspiring story, of how dragonfruit’s therapeutic relief for her daughter with cerebral palsy, turned her into a multi-awarded farmer-scientist. Now, through her company REFMAD-V, she continues to inspire and uplift the lives of small farmers, women-farmers, and persons with disabilities. “Women empowerment is my legacy”, she shared in her speech.

‘Seedling Queen of Bulacan’ Daisy Duran encouraged and inspired the participants to start small, be agripreneurs, and always see opportunities in agriculture. “Give people something to see, do, and buy”, she added. From being a fishball vendor, she is now a multi-awarded Filipina agripreneur.

Siargao farmers and locals pledge to make Siargao food secure, sufficient, and sustainable.

The “More Love for Women Farmers” conference is a first step to reinvigorate Siargao’s agriculture, through empowering the women farmers of the island. The conference is part of AGREA’s local iteration of Leaders and Entrepreneurs in Agriculture Forum, or LEAF. 

LEAF is a community of champions across all sectors uniting as advocates for better agriculture. The one-day conference also became an avenue to attest the commitment of every sector to achieve the vision for the island: Siargao as the first women-led agriculture island in the Philippines. 

Led by AGREA, there will be four more LEAF events coming up this year. AGREA is an innovative inclusive business based in the Island Province of Marinduque, Philippines. AGREA aims to create a living model of a replicable one-island economy with a social mission of cultivation of human beings through livelihood that is indigenous to the land.

For more information about LEAF and AGREA, kindly contact [email protected].

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