Let’s move on to the next Miss Universe Philippines 2020 candidate and her important cause during ECQ and the pandemic crisis. Representing Davao City, Alaiza Flor Malinao has lovingly branded herself as “Inday” in the competition. And with her thrust on providing a market for farmers in Luzon and Mindanao with logistical difficulties in moving their produce due to COVID19, the partnership with #MoveFoodInitiative was born. Hence, the very apt title for this entry – Inday ng Gulay Ko.
AGREA is an innovative inclusive business that is founded on fair-trade, sustainable agriculture and replicable model of an agri-based economy.
AGREA aims to help eradicate poverty for farming and fishing families, to alleviate the effects of climate change and to help establish food security in the Philippines.
A compound of the words ‘Agriculture’ and ‘Gaea’ (Greek for Earth or Mother Earth), AGREA is an agriculture and fisheries focused social enterprise and foundation with a big heart.
Based in Marinduque, the Heart of the Philippines, AGREA has been mobilizing communities, businesses, academia, local and national government, international partners, and keen individuals, in bringing an ‘Ecology of Dignity’ to farming and fishing communities in the island of Marinduque.
Some people might have already seen Alaiza tending to a vegetable stall in one of the weekend markets in the metro. But the representation of her cause for Agrea goes beyond mere photo ops of being a humble seller because she coordinates with various provinces (including her own) to have the food chain network of farm-to-table produce connected to buyers and marketers of the same in Manila and other parts of the country.
This is not the easiest cause to fight for at the moment due to movement restrictions all over the Philippines. But with the initiative, Alaiza has become more than a poster girl for the significant concerns of the farmers – and even fishermen. After all, we live in an economy where agriculture plays a vital role. The supply has to meet the demands – be it rice, vegetable or fish – that are food staples in the Filipino family’s dining table.