“Filipino farmers are world-class.” Social entrepreneur-PhilRice

Cherrie Atilano, a social entrepreneur, proudly expressed to high school students and local farmers in a forum at PhilRice Agusan, 7 August.

Atilano encouraged the attendees during the forum to value agriculture particularly rice farming.

“I really want you to feel that you are world-class because you are feeding us every day,” Atilano said.

The Negros-born entrepreneur also shared her story on how she developed her passion for farming and social enterprise.

Fresh from college, Atilano initially worked in a private company for less than a year. Eventually, she found herself co-establishing Agricool, a program that empowers young people to venture in agriculture.

“I was enlightened by Ms. Cherrie’s talk that we shouldn’t be ashamed of our farmers, we should be proud of them,” said Kerstine Marie Fedelis, a senior high school student of Balang-Balang National High School, Agusan Del Norte.

Fedelis expressed interest to pursue agriculture in college.

Atilano, who is also an ambassador of the World Economic Forum – United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, takes pride in agriculture as her profession. Today, she is the Founding Farmer of Agrea, a social enterprise that envisions a replicable one-island economy in Marinduque.

“Her stories and messages challenge me to pursue and value farming as a noble profession,” said Steve Gepulla, a farmer from Surigao Del Norte.

The forum was part of the 25th anniversary celebration of PhilRice Agusan earlier this month.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute