The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday said local government units (LGUs) bought some PHP2.6 billion worth of local farmers’ produce from the start of the community quarantine in March until September.
DA told the Philippine News Agency that the PHP2.6 billion were purchased via “direct procurement from farmers by 443 local government units” nationwide.
DA Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness Kristine Evangelista said vegetable procurement for this year is particularly higher compared to the same period last year.
“We have reason to believe that LGU procurement increased because agricultural commodities also became part of the food packs distributed [by the DA] to their constituents,” she added.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar has been advocating his appeal to LGUs, especially in the barangay level, to source out produce from local farmers even before the pandemic took place.
“We urge our LGUs to prioritize buying fresh produce from our farmers. It’s a win-win situation for both consumers and producers,” Dar said in March during distribution of food packs amid the raging pandemic.
The food supplies could actually come from the “kanayunan”, he said, minimizing movement from one location to another.
In line with this vision, Dar launched the “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” to bolster the agency’s call for “bountiful harvest and prosperous farmers and fisherfolk”.
Kadiwa is a market system which sells major agricultural goods at reasonably low prices to help poor Filipino households.
Kadiwa is loosely translated as “one idea, one thought,” which is in consonance with the Dar’s “new thinking” for the agriculture paradigm.
Evangelista, in a virtual conference on Tuesday, said as of Sept. 26, a total of 1,439 Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita on Wheels were conducted.
“The total sales generated amounted to PHP47,685,923,” she added.
Evangelista added that they have taken note of some 20 deliveries to various LGUs and Agribusiness Development Center Pabili through Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Online, which generated sales totaling PHP5,553,095.
She said including some PHP56,143 earned from retail sales, the overall sales for Kadiwa in the regions amounted to PHPP290,146,075.
The Kadiwa project establishes a direct link between the farmers and fisherfolk and the consuming public.
In a separate online forum on Monday, Asis Perez, convenor of advocacy group Tugon Kabuhayan helping Filipino farmers, cited that low buying prices of high quality products like tuna severely affected the fisheries sector.
Asis, a former director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, called on the government to continuously promote the consumption of all the locally produced and caught fish products.
Source: Philippines News Agency