By Adora Rodriguez, DA-AFID
Several companies and institutional buyers are now partnering with the Department of Agriculture (DA), particularly in its ‘Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita’ marketing program, where farm products are bought on a wholesale basis from farmers and retailed to consumers on affordable prices in Metro Manila and other urban areas nationwide.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar cited that Agri Nurture, Inc. (ANI) has expressed the intention to buy more quantities of farmers’ harvests on a regular basis.
“We, at the Department, are more than willing to enter into an undertaking with ANI, as we look forward to the positive support and assistance that they can provide to our local food producers who have been affected by the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ),” Dar said.
“Also, we thank San Miguel Corporation, under the leadership of its President and COO Ramon S. Ang, as it will buy four million kilos of corn from farmers, and allow the use of strategic Petron stations nationwide as outlets for our Kadiwa rolling stores,” the DA chief added.
Four other institutions are buying regularly large volumes of vegetables from the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT) and the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) since mid-March when the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine was imposed, said DA assistant secretary for agribusiness and marketing Kristine Evangelista.
These are the:
- OH My Gulay -12 tons of highland vegetables from BAPTC and 12 tons of lowland vegetables from NVAT twice a week;
- Grow Asia – 20 tons of highland vegetables from BAPTC weekly;
- Shell Philippines – 5 tons of highland vegetables from BAPTC weekly; and
- Victory Liner – 4 tons of highland vegetables from BAPTC weekly.
Further, the DA through its Kadiwa partners continues to buy more farm produce and sells to urban residents, added Evangelista. These include Planters Produce, a subsidiary of Planters Products Inc., and VIEVA Farmers’ Federation.
Secretary Dar said the DA will continue to enhance its partnerships with agribusiness companies and institutional buyers to benefit more Filipino farmers and consumers.
“The government cannot do this alone, we need the support of the private sector to help us in this upgraded marketing strategy as we face the challenges of COVID 19,” he added.
Launched in 2019, the DA’s Kadiwa marketing program now features three modes: Kadiwa on Wheels; Kadiwa Express; and Kadiwa Online.
To date, Evangelista said the DA-Kadiwa has served 14 cities in the NCR, via 144 Kadiwa on Wheels in 124 barangays and 20 villages and subdivisions.
“The Kadiwa marketing project will be upscaled under our Plant, Plant, Plant Program, also known as Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra sa COVID 19, which is our main vehicle to provide adequate, accessible and affordable food for all Filipinos during this Covid-19 crisis,” concluded Secretary Dar.