Honoring women farmers at the Women’s Market with Oxfam Philippines @oxfaminPHL

Did you know that half of the food that reaches your dining tables, is the product of many hours of back-breaking work by our women farmers? Sadly, our women aren’t getting the same support as men food producers.

This blog has been showing you recipes but I also want to take time out to honor our women farmers, the women who grow the nation’s food and yet have scarcely enough to eat, because selling all their harvests barely earns them enough to support their families.

My interest in honoring women farmers stemmed from meeting Oxfam Philippines a year ago. This time around, they brought me to the Women’s Market during International Women’s day in Davao City together with Oxfam Philippines Ambassador Cherry Pie Picache and, Ping Medina. I love what Oxfam Philippines do to help our women farmers.

I wish there were more women’s markets all over the country. The role our women farmers play in feeding the country is long overdue. Sure, there are weekend markets but do we see farmers selling their produce? I have been to farmers’ market in other cities outside the Philippines. I bought apples from the truck of a farmer. I loved talking to farmers telling me how they nurtured their farm produce.

The Women’s Market in Davao city was such a huge hit. A lot of fresh produce were sold out. I ran out of yellow ginger. It just shows how much love was shown to our unsung heroines who supply us with good food – food that’s good for our bodies and good on the environment.

The Women’s Market in Davao, apart from carrying healthy, organic produced by women sustainably (growing food without harming the planet), also held learning forums, cooking demonstrations, and an exhibit capturing the daily struggles of women food producers – to impart the need for and value of supporting women farmers and fishers.

We need to give women farmers the same attention as men. According to projections made by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), women will increase their food production by 25% – which our country needs just in case another global food crises like the one in 2008 happens.

It is my hope that our government pour in more resources to prepare for any impending food crisis by increasing investments in rural women’s livelihoods. Not only will they protect poor women and their families, but it will also help the government achieve its food security goals.

Our women farmers are the key to new ‘agricultural future’.

If you are wondering about the food demonstration , Ping Medina cooked a really tasty Pasta Vongole using Imbaw shellfish instead of clams (halaan). This Italian classic recipe was made even more flavorful since he used the Bangus Pate. There are many variations of Pasta Vongole so check on How to cook perfect spaghetti alle vongole. This could be one of your dishes for the Lent season.

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