Ma. Estrella Penunia
Ms. Ma. Estrella Penunia—or Esther as called by colleagues—is Secretary General of the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA), a regional alliance of national farmers' organizations, currently with members in eight countries in Asia. AFA conducts activities related to policy information, analyses and campaigns, as well as dialogues with decision-makers at national, regional and international levels. It provides technical and managerial support to members’ initiatives on farmers’ organizing and empowerment, access to natural and production resources, sustainable agriculture, equity-led marketing and trading. As a Filipino-Asian social development worker, Esther spent her professional years in the field of rural development, working with the farmers’, fishers' and indigenous peoples' sectors in various capacities as community organizer, participatory action researcher, trainer, gender advocate, consultant, campaigns coordinator, executive officer/manager and networker.