By Gumamela C. Bajarin, DA-AFID

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched a joint market intervention called the ‘Kadiwa Diskwento Karavan,’ serving hundreds of families at Greenheights Gym, in Barangay Nangka, Marikina City, on April 21, 2020.

The combined DA’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita and DTI’s Diskwento Karavan seeks to bring a variety of affordable basic commodities — from vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken, to sardines, canned meat products, to laundry detergents, among others — closer to urban families affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Layunin nito na mas maparami ang mga produkto na kasama sa mga itinitinda sa iba’t ibang outlets ng Kadiwa. Dahil po sa partnership na ito, isasama na po natin ang ilang mga discounted manufactured products,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

“Once again, we thank DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez for partnering with the DA for bringing together fresh agri-fishery produce and manufactured goods through the ‘Kadiwa Diskwento Karavan’,” he added.

The partnership between the DA and DTI was forged last week during a meeting of the sub-group on food and water security of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). It was recently elevated into the Task Group on Food Security, also chaired by the DA, serving as the fifth task group under the IATF.

The Kadiwa Diskwento Karavan aims to serve as a ‘mini’ grocery that will sell agri-fishery and canned and processed products, and other basic necessities at cheaper rates than the suggested retail prices — as it eliminates middlemen by directly linking farmers and food manufacturers to consumers.

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro welcomed the DA-DTI partnership calling it a ‘critical intervention’ after the Marikina City Public Market was temporarily closed for disinfection.

“Maganda ito kasi parang inilapit na sa amin ang palengke. Sa halip na kami ang pupunta doon sa palengke, pipila pa kami, babiyahe pa kami. Samantalang ito, malapit lang sa amin, kaya pabor na pabor po ito sa amin,” Barangay Nangka resident Ruel Dy said hoping that the Karavan will continue even after the ECQ.

The DA, DTI and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also reached an agreement whereby the DA will deploy Kadiwa Diskwento Karavan rolling stores in areas where the DSWD will distribute the Social Amelioration Program cash grants to beneficiaries to enable them buy readily their needed food requirements instead of being spent for other non-essentials.

The DA-DTI Kadiwa Diskwento Karavan will be deployed in other areas in Metro Manila in succeeding days, in tandem with the DSWD and concerned LGUs.

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