Press Release
December 6, 2017

Empower the people in the agri sector - Villar

SINCE Filipino farmers and fisherfolks have remained the poorest in our country, Senator Cynthia Villar cited the need for concerted efforts to empower them.

Speaking in the 11th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards, Villar recognized the officers and members of the PMFTC Inc.-- the Philippine Affiliate of Philip Morris International who were behind Bright Leaf for their commitment to promote and create awareness on agricultural issues including best farming practices, environmental care, safety and crop sustainability.

"You are a big help, together with the media practitioners, in increasing the general public's attention and awareness on the plight of the agriculture sector, said Villar during the awarding ceremony held at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City.

She also acknowledged the important role that agricultural journalists play in promoting agricultural developments as well as progress in the countryside. She said news about current events provide valuable insights and information to agricultural industry players and stakeholders as well as regulators, decision-makers and legislators. She said features, especially about success stories, provide inspiration.

Because of this, Villar said it is only fitting that outstanding agricultural journalists are given recognition and tribute as they continue to be the agriculture sector's partners for change.

More than any other sector, the agriculture deserves exposure and access to information. She noted that agricultural journalists provide these every time they cover events or activities involving farmers or agri-business and report about policies and other developments that matter to them or involve them.

She said small farmers and fisherfolks, agri-entrepreneurs, agri-related enterprises, tourist farm sites, agri-scientists, farm owners/operators, farm workers among others need journalists to make their voices heard; make their concerns reach concerned individuals; make their products, services or technologies known; make their inventions or innovations appreciated; make their small farms heard of; or most of all, to simply recognize them as worth writing stories about or taking pictures of.

Furthermore, she said those in the rural areas are not aware that there are scholarship grants, funding available and new technologies, among others that they can tap or avail of. "You as journalists have the power to reach them and to empower them."

More than any other sector, she said the agriculture sector needs all the support it can get since the Philippines is an agricultural country, with two-thirds of the population involved directly and indirectly in agriculture.

"So, as in the past, let us continue working together. We cannot do it alone, we need you to report and amplify what are out there-- innovations, technologies, researches, legislations, reforms, products, projects and programs so that the general public, especially those involved and concerned about the agriculture sector will be well-informed and updated," said Villar.

With our initiatives and efforts, along with the help and cooperation of our farmers, the Filipino farmers and fisherfolks would move forward and the country's agricultural sector will further grow.

News Latest News Feed