Filipina 'Plantita' granted knighthood by Dutch king
Agri advocate Mary Ann Sayoc
Mary Ann Sayoc via Instagram

Filipina 'Plantita' granted knighthood by Dutch king

Kathleen A. Llemit (Philstar.com) - April 28, 2021 - 12:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — A Filipina agricultural advocate has been awarded a Knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau last Monday, April 26.

Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc was awarded the Dutch civil and military order of chivalry by Ambassador Saskia de Lang.

“I am very proud to announce that it has pleased His Majesty King Willem Alexander to award a Knighthood on a leading personality of the Dutch Filipino community. It is a recognition of exceptional merit to The Netherlands," Ambassador de Lang said in a press statement.

Dr. Sayoc heads the public affairs for the East-West Seed Group (EWS), a Philippine vegetable seed company founded by Dutch seedsman Simon Groot with Filipino seed trader Benito Domingo in 1982.

"I like most the philosophy that Simon Groot espoused -- serving the farmers and increasing their income from vegetable farming. To this day, each and every employee works hard to keep this mission alive," read Dr. Sayoc's bio on the company's website.

Dr. Sayoc joined the company in November 2000. Before her current position, she held key positions in the Philippine Department of Agriculture as regional director and executive director of the Agricultural Training Institute. She was also involved with the International Training Center on Pig Husbandry, an institution created by The Netherlands government through Barneveld College and the Philippine government through the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute. 

Apart from East-West, Dr. Sayoc also heads the Philippine-Dutch Fellows Network, Inc., the alumni association of Filipino professionals who studied in The Netherlands. She is also a board member of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines since 2014, together with a number of Dutch-Filipino companies.

She is also the chairperson of the Philippine Seed Industry Association and was instrumental in the involvement of Dutch expertise in the scoping mission on establishing the National Seed Technology Park, the first step for the planned multi-year collaboration between the Philippines and the Netherlands on horticulture development.

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