Changing the lives of farmers in the Philippines
When Cherrie Atilano set out to change the lives of farmers in the Philippines she couldn’t have imagined she would one day be helping to feed people in the nation’s capital, Manila, during a global pandemic, according to WeForum.
Agrea, the social enterprise she founded, wants to end rural poverty by helping farmers move from subsistence to small-scale commercial farming. But when the Philippines started to lock down to slow the spread of COVID-19, farmers found their routes to market cut off.
The restrictions meant some could not even go into their fields to pick crops and, although trucks were available, drivers were staying at home. Before Atilano launched her #MoveFoodInitiative, farmers had been forced to dump tonnes of edible food.
Atilano, one of the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Young Global Leaders, decided to use her extensive network to appeal to private truck owners to help ship the food to consumers in towns, villages and the capital.
By 26 April, the initiative had shipped almost 138,000kg of fruit and vegetables from almost 4,000 farmers, reaching nearly 30,000 families.
In addition, the project is donating food to eight community kitchens set up to feed frontline medical staff treating people with coronavirus. So far more than 2,000 medics have benefited from free food.
Atilano also plans to encourage the development of urban farms. “It is time to learn how to produce food near to you,” she said. “This is the new normal that we need to prepare for.”
Our kudos to Cherrie – well done, and thank you.