The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) is pushing for the replication by local government units (LGUs) of its flagship marketing program “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita”.
DA-12 Executive Director Arlan Mangelen said Monday the agency has been coordinating with LGUs to sustain the Kadiwa program’s rollout in strategic communities to provide farmers additional opportunities to market their products.
Kadiwa stands for “Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa para sa Masanang Ani at Mataas na Kita”, a marketing strategy of the DA that directly connects food producers to consumers, making products less costly.
Mangelen said the initiative, which was reactivated in the region at the start of the community quarantine last March due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, has been successful so far and already generated sales of around PHP10 million for local farmers.
The food items sold in the mobile market included spices, vegetables, fruits, rice, meat, fish and other available farm products, he said.
Mangelen said the agency has so far covered at least 22 sites in the region, starting from the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine last March 15.
However, the DA official said the program’s implementation slowed down with the easing of movement restrictions following the region’s shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) status on May 1 and into modified GCQ last June 1.
“We’re still visiting some areas based on requests from LGUs,” the official said in a radio interview.
Mangelen said they are encouraging municipalities and cities to put up their own Kadiwa market sites to ensure a steady market for local farm products.
Since farmers will no longer worry about logistics and transportation costs, he said consumers will have access to cheaper products as they will be sold at farm gate prices.
Mangelen noted that the program offers a sustainable source of food supplies for consumers and better income opportunities for local farmers as the area moves into the “new normal” amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (PNA)