By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Farmers from Aglipay, Nueva Ecija have been given an opportunity to sell their milled rice directly to consumers in the metro through Rice Pinas: a non-partisan, non-profit volunteer group which seeks to bridge Philippine rice farmers closer to the consumers in Manila.
“The group visited our coop in the province and introduced us to the concept of selling our rice directly to the consumers here in the metro,” said Adoracion “Adora” Lopez, the manager of Aglipay Agriculture Cooperative.
She added that they at the coop wanted to introduce local rice here in the city so consumers can have a taste of locally and organically grown rice.
Currently, 10 farmers, including Lopez, are selling packs of sinandomeng rice which they packed into 5kgs, 10kgs, and 25kgs for their customers’ convenience.
“We sell organically-grown, or pesticide and insecticide free, rice which we [at the coop] planted, harvested, and milled ourselves,” Lopez said.
As of 10AM, Lopez shared that they received a warm reception from their new market as many have already purchased their rice from both pre-orders and walk-ins.
“This venture empowers rice farmers like ourselves who are currently struggling with the price of rice by giving them a wider market other than those they have at home,” she added.
Prior to their arrival in Makati, Lopez reached out to the group asking for help in marketing their milled rice. This was prompted by the news of Rice Pinas helping out rice farmers from Mindoro sell their rice to consumers in the metro last September 28.
The Nueva Ecija rice farmers’ first stop is at Salcedo Saturday Market in Makati. By 4PM, the farmers will then move to Mercato Arcovia in Pasig then to Mercato BGC at 6PM.