Lack of access to markets due to the very strict enforcement of quarantine checkpoints and very limited option for transportation are just few of the current woes of our farmers particularly in the far flung areas.
“Nakapag-ani nga kami pero kung hindi mabenta ay mabubulok lang,” lamented Aling Fe Guardian of barangay Binanuahan, Juban Sorsogon. “Mahirap din lalo sa tulad kong walang sasakyan dahil hindi ako pwedeng kumuha ng Food Pass sa DA kung walang sasakyan,” she added.
Manang Fe Guardian is one the 243 individual beneficiaries of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) for CY 2019. Her group, the Binanuahan Vegetable Farmers Association, where she is President, is also one of the 45 group beneficiaries of SAAD. The planting materials she used were interventions from SAAD.
Her watermelon, pole sitao, raddish, pechay and garlic are ready for harvest soon. And her biggest problem is a market for her produce.
Luckily, on Monday, March 23, the team of the Special Area for Agricultural Development in Sorsogon headed by Regional Dairy Production and Technology Center (RDPTC) Superintendent Dolores Ricafranca, visited Manang Fe’s farm and bought her farm produce.
On that lucky day alone, she was able to sell 363 kilos watermelon, 35 kilos squash, 3.75 kilos pole sitao, 8 kilos raddish, 130 kilos pechay, and 5 kilos native garlic to the SAAD team.
The said products were displayed the following day in the KADIWA NI ANI AT KITA post at the RDPTC, and Ricafranca reported that all agri products were sold out on the same day. Ricafranca also said that the SAAD team will do their daily rounds in the whole province of Sorsogon and buy the farmers’ produce until all of them have been given access to market and buyers in this trying time.
Following Sec. Dar’s directive to help farmers by buying their produce, DA Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla instructed the ROSes in the six provinces to put up a KADIWA post and the AMAD at the regional office in San Agustin, Pili, Cam Sur. These KADIWA stores will serve as drop off points or depository of the agricultural products from the farmers on a consignment basis.
KADIWA which stands for “Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita” is a marketing strategy of the DA which directly connects the food producers to the consumers thereby lessening the cost of the products. (Lovella P. Guarin, photo by Ghail Renegado)