By Myriam Layaoen, DA Communications Group

Agriculture chief William D. Dar has instructed the heads of the Department of Agriculture (DA) agencies in the National Capital Region to identify available spaces in their compound for the establishment of their respective “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” stalls to provide more options for the public to access affordable agri products.

“We want to provide the public as many options possible to access affordable and nutritious food. The DA offices shall be ready to accommodate buyers but they should, of course, follow the quarantine guidelines and physical distancing procedures,” Dar said.

Kadiwa, which stands for “Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa para sa Masanang Ani at Mataas na Kita”, is a marketing strategy of the DA which directly connects the food producers to the consumers, thereby lessening the cost of the products.

It links the local government units (LGU) in urban centers to farmer-producers in the different parts of the country to ease the delivery and distribution of food supply.

Secretary Dar has been continuously urging LGUs to engage in the Kadiwa services to help ensure food supply in metropolitan areas while providing markets to local farmers’ produce.

Amid the enhanced community quarantine, residents of Cainta, Rizal enjoyed the benefits of the Kadiwa food market with at least four major farmers’ groups participating and bringing fresh fruits, vegetables and other agriculture products closer to households at very reasonable prices, Dar said.

With many restaurants, shops and other services shutting down operations due to the enhanced community quarantine, Secretary Dar said that farmers’ groups participating in the Kadiwa program braved the initial set of logistical problems in order to deliver their produce to the people of Cainta.

“This only proves our farmers’ commitment in ensuring that there will be stable, affordable and nutritious food supply for the people in this time of crisis,” Dar said.

Farmers’ groups such as Baguio’s Hola Green, Batangas Organic and Natural Farming Association, CamSur-based Agripreneur Farmers and Producers Association, and Mama Agnes of Bataan participated in the two-day food event held March 21-22.

“It’s a win-win for both consumers and producers with the Kadiwa event in Cainta for the farmers’ groups and residents enjoying affordable and nutritious agri-fishery products amid this health crisis,” Dar said.

Through the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita initiative, Secretary Dar hopes to provide stable and cheap food supply for households affected by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine.

For her part, DA-Agribusiness Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said that they will be prioritizing the rollout of Kadiwa stores in Metro Manila and other densely populated metropolis, which are traditionally dependent to outside sources for food and nutritional requirements.

“We are finalizing the details of our arrangement with LGUs in NCR, especially those with earlier commitments such as Quezon City, Pasig, Manila, Pasay, and Taguig,” Evangelista said.

The DA is closely coordinating with its regional field offices through their Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) for possible suppliers that could address the requirements of the LGUs. It has also identified possible “Bagsakan” drop-off point/s where suppliers can directly deliver the required commodities of the LGUs for their relief operations.

At least 66 Kadiwa sites will be opened nationwide, Evangelista added.

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