DA to link farmers, consumers
The Department of Agriculture (DA) launched on Friday the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita program to ensure that the products of farmers reach consumers without passing through a multilayered marketing system composed of traders and middlemen.
“The traders can’t be the only ones earning—our farmers need to receive their fair share, too, and market prices should also remain affordable. That’s our objective,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar at the Kadiwa launch in Taguig City.
Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita is similar to the Kadiwa market system initially launched by the late President Ferdinand Marcos. In the 1970s, mobile Kadiwa outlets made their rounds of depressed and underserved areas to sell groceries at reduced prices.
Instead of mobile outlets, the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita program will open stores in cities across the country, starting in the National Capital Region, according to Dar. The aim is to open at least one store per city “and there should be more for the larger cities,” he added.
Overseeing the program is the new Consumer Affairs unit of the DA under the leadership of Undersecretary Ernie Gonzales, who was also appointed as undersecretary for Consumer Affairs on Friday.
Working with Gonzales on the full implementation of the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita program is Assistant Secretary for Agribusiness and Marketing Kristine Evangelista, who said she was in discussion with the Department of the Interior and Local Government to find strategic locations for Kadiwa stores in cities and provinces.
“We don’t have a template (design) because it will depend on the need of each city as determined by the local government,” said Evangelista. “The idea is to make sure [stores are] accessible because we’re targeting the general public and the [low] prices of commodities are precisely for them.”
Evangelista said they had been tasked in the next 100 days to open several Kadiwa stores in Metro Manila, with talks already ongoing between the DA and the local governments of Taguig, Manila, Quezon City and Valenzuela.
Dar said all kinds of farmers would be welcome to sell their produce in Kadiwa stores.
In terms of location, Evangelista said they hoped to find spaces for Kadiwa merchants that would charge very minimal rental fees or even none, if possible.
“We will try to have [spaces like malls] waive their fees. Companies I’ve spoken to also believe in strengthening agriculture, so I believe we’re going in a good direction,” Evangelista said.
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