By Zaldy Comanda

BAGUIO CITY— A wide variety of vegetables from Good Agricultural Practice (GAP)-certified farmers and farmer associations are made available through the implementation of the KADIWA Retail Store.

With its location along the road at the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera office, assorted vegetables can now be easily transported and can now be more accessed by the public despite the limitations brought by the implemented Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

GAP are designed to improve the sustainable agricultural practices including conserving natural resources, improving food quality, safety, and traceability, as well as creating new market opportunities for farmers while improving their work conditions and safety.

DA-CAR has invited numerous farmer associations–both GAP-certified and organic, to participate in the project.

These associations include: Manpat-a Farmers Association, Tikeng Manyedyed Farmers Association Inc, Buguias Ex-Japan Trainees Association, Dagwat Savers, Sergio’s Savers Farm, Mugen’s Savers Farm, and Palayen Farms, Barangay Loakan Organic Farmers Association, and the Tuba Natural Grown Farmers Association.

Brenson Dagwat, a member of the Buguias-Japan Agricultural Trainees Association, supplies 60-80 kg of commodities weekly.

He expresses, “nagrequest kami ng transport assistance…at very thankful kami kasi ‘yes’ kaagad ang response nila.”

The KADIWA ni Ani at Kita project opens multiple avenues to directly link the farmers and fisherfolks to the consumers. It also encourages farmers and fisherfolk to apply post-harvesting methods such as proper pricing and packaging of their goods.

Basilio Ngaseo, a GAP-certified member of the Manpat-a Farmers’ Association, says that it was a first for their association to participate in the KADIWA project.

With his supplies of 10-15 crates of assorted vegetables to the KADIWA Retail store, his earnings can reach up to P18,000 a day. He attributes his progress to the seminars and training he attended that were organized by the agency, all of which led to his GAP certification. He remembers, “Noong hindi pa ako GAP-certified, makalat ang paggamit ko sa aking pinagtataniman.”

He claims that he can apply what he learned to the KADIWA Retail store and to other groups/communities their farmer association supplies to. He encourages his fellow farmers to do the same as one can gain a lot from the comprehensiveness and opportunities from the GAP-certification. “Kapag nasanay sila sa GAP, imbis na sa mga dating kinauugalian, maganda na ito.”

The KADIWA Retail store is open from Mondays to Fridays, at 8am-5pm. Buyers are required to observe ECQ protocols such as physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and bringing their own eco bags.