SAN AGUSTIN PILI, CAMARINES SUR- The DA – Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) convened all the 30 recipients of the KADIWA Financial Grant Assistance Program for a workshop and assessment of the status of implementation. Representatives from 30 Farmers Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) attended the event held on Feb. 7, 2024 at the DA compound. This activity aims to evaluate the various KADIWA Stores’ current state as well as the factors influencing their functionality and potential for possible up-scaling.

Alden Ragay, Senior Agriculturist, in his welcome remarks said that the goal of KADIWA is to reduce the cost of agricultural products distributed to communities by either buying directly from farmers or purchasing goods in bulk.

Supervising Agriculturist, Dr. Maria Christina Campita talked on the various KADIWA modalities; 30 KADIWA stores, 6 KADIWA On-Wheels, 10 KADIWA ng Pangulo, and 2 KADIWA Pop-Up Stores are currently operational. She also noted that Region 5 is ranked second in terms of KADIWA ng Pangulo’s nationwide total sales for 2023, Region 5 garnered a total of ₱6.1M sales.

As part of the digitization of the office, AMAD developed the Open Data Kit (ODK) Collect. A smartphone app developed to allow the KADIWA beneficiaries to submit their daily sales. The purpose of this app is to hasten the submission of the various beneficiaries’ sales data.

The beneficiaries discussed their experiences in implementing their respective KADIWA projects during the open forum. Robert Buayaban, President of the Agripreneur Farmers Producers Association, Inc. (AFPAI), showcased their initiatives and encouraged his co-KADIWA implementers to develop a five-year plan which facilitates the achievement of their FCA’s objectives; this also serves as guide in which making it simpler for them to request for government support.

Aurita Candelaria Fernandez, Camarines Sur Focal Person of the Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC) discussed the different loans that are available for the FCAs namely: Agri-Negosyo (ANYO) Loan Program which is a loan program for registered Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), FCAs, Individual small farmers and fisherfolk (SFF).

In the afternoon, the participants played a game called Kita Mo Na which taught them more on how to manage their finances.

AMAD urged the KADIWA Program beneficiaries to actively participate in the conduct of KNP in their respective localities. Likewise, LGUs are encouraged to set-up KNP in their municipality/city every 15th and 30th of the month through the Memorandum Circular No. 2024-003 dated January 12, 2024. (Vincent Emil Pasumbal, DA RAFIS V)