DA links local farmer producers to supermarket chain

SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – Over 30 farmers’ organizations in Camarines Sur, engaged in commercial production of agri-commodities, have a bright market prospect as the Libertad Consumers Corporation (LCC) decided to buy directly from farmers/producers.

“Our goal is to have 50% to 60% of our products in fresh agri produce category. Hindi na delata kase marami na ang nagkakasakit,” said Aldrin Borbe, group category head of LCC during the Market Matching on Fruits and Vegetables held on July 29, 2019 at DA RFO 5 training hall.

“This time, LCC na ang mamimili as opposed to concessionaires where quality and pricing are not controlled. Before, we dealt with traders which resulted to very expensive products which are not affordable to the consumers,” Borbe added.

He also urged the agri producers to look at this initiative as a partnership. There is no seasonality as the demand for fresh produce is on a daily basis, Borbe quipped.

Adelina A. Losa, OIC Regional Technical Director for Operations and chief of Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) said that this initiative of the LCC is a very welcome development as the DA is really looking for market for our local farmers. She urged the farmers to put premium to product quality to be competitive.

LCC has 80 stores in 50 towns and cities in the Bicol region. Due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products, especially produce directly from the farm, LCC has tapped the DA to match them to the farmer-producers.

To support its chain of supermarkets, the LCC requires the following fresh produce on a weekly basis: 1,500 to 2,000 kilos of native tomato every week; at least 1,000 kilos kalamansi; 1,000 kilos ampalaya and eggplant; minimum of 1,500 kilos squash; 2,000 kilos sweet potato; 10,000 kilos watermelon; and 200-300 kilos oyster mushroom per week.

Among the participating farmers’ organizations during the market matching were: Agripreneur Farmers and Producers Association based in Libmanan, Cam. Sur (producer of hot pepper, kalamansi and lowland vegetables); Binanuanan Farmers of Pili, Cam. Sur (supplier of hot pepper, pole sitao, cucumber and gabi); Naga City Organic Farmers Association (supplier of cucumber, lettuce, hot pepper and kalamansi); The Agri Planters and Producers Farmers Association of Tigaon, Cam. Sur (producer of organic vegetables, lettuce, ginger and gabi); Magarao Vegetable Farmers Association (producer of cucumber); Cam. Sur Multipurpose Coop (Pamplona East and West cluster) (producer of cucumber, squash, ampalaya, pole sitao); Cri-San Vegetable Growers Assn of Lupi, Cam. Sur (producer of eggplant, cucumber, pole sitato, and squash); May-ogob ARB Coop of Ocampo, Cam. Sur (producer of cucumber and lettuce); Lupi HVC Growers (producer of hot pepper, eggplant, pole sitao); Minalabac Farmers Assn (producer of lowland vegetables); Nabua Gabi Farmers Assn (producer of dried gabi leaves); Sto. Nino Pili Vegetable Growers Ass (producers of lowland vegetables); Bicol Entrep Assn for Mushroom and Pili vegetable growers. Some of these associations are also included in the group of OMAsenso sa Kabuhayan Farmers being supported by Vice President Leni Robredo.
OIC RTD Losa said that AMAD has already prepared a plan to help the farmers come up with the required volume of production at the time when it is needed by the buyer to facilitate sustainability of supply and ensure that the farmer-producers get the reasonable price for their fresh products.
The AMAD also conducted similar market matching activities in Cam. Norte, Albay and Sorsogon. On July 31, AMAD together with Romy Tan, LCC Executive Director, visited papaya and pineapple producers in Sorsogon and were able to close a weekly delivery deal for three stores of LCC in Albay . (Lovella P. Guarin)