Quarantined and bloated Pinoys save farmers in distress

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 04:09 AM April 13, 2020

With more people relying on delivery services to stock up on food amid the extended lockdown, online agricultural stores are stepping up not just to provide Filipinos local fresh produce, but also to give farmers access to untapped markets in the metropolis.

Kristine Evangelista, assistant agriculture secretary for agribusiness, said in an interview with the Inquirer that digital platforms, alongside the Department of Agriculture (DA), ha been leading the charge in helping out the country’s food producers in selling their products.The agency has also decided to set up its own website to sell agricultural products through the Kadiwa program, and they are also now working on an app to reach more consumers.


Evangelista added these new channels had eased the delivery and transport of various commodities, and had made shopping for agricultural commodities easier and safer for all.In Central Luzon, for example, mango farmers were troubled with an oversupply of about 300,000 kilos of the fruit that prices dipped to P95 a kilo against the prevailing price of P180 a kilo in Metro Manila’s public markets.

Through online selling and other digital promotions, Evelyn Alegado, Central Luzon Mango Stakeholders Association president, said the produce immediately sold out.


Agriculture Secretary William Dar has encouraged local government units (LGUs) to buy fruits and vegetables from farmers for their respective relief packages. These are more nutritious than the quintessential canned goods and instant noodles, he said.

Those who are interested may purchase produce and other basic household items through the Kadiwa Online platform. LGUs may also link up with the agency’s various trading partners in selected cities and provinces.

In the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Pangasinan, for instance, residents were given assorted vegetables for free—those bought by LGUs from local farmers in their areas.Some cities in Metro Manila, such as Pasig and Valenzuela, have also partnered with farmer cooperatives in rural areas.Evangelista said the DA had also tapped online selling platforms to cater to households and accommodate retail orders.

Online stores that are working with the agency include Homegrown Organics, Oh My Gulay, Kooryr, Gulay ng Bayan and Golden Shine Gulay Express.As more people turn to their phones to buy products with just a tap and a swipe, stakeholders are hopeful that reports of declining prices and spoilage of commodities would now become a thing of the past. INQ

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