Over 160 tons of highland vegetables were sold and will be sold this January through Kadiwa’s Veggie Connect and other market linkage programs of the Department of Agriculture.
The move, according to Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., will provide a much-needed financial boost to close to 100 farmers, preventing potential food wastage and providing consumers access to cheaper food.
“A total 163,189 kilograms [of vegetables] were sold and will be sold until January 26, 2024, assisting 93 farmers from the provinces of Mt. Province, Benguet and Ifugao,” said Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan, officer-in-charge of the office of the Regional Executive Director-Cordillera Administrative Region, in her report to Sec. Tiu Laurel.
“We will continue to provide Kadiwa services to farmers as may be needed,” she added.
Dawayan said the Kadiwa Veggie Connect started as a collaboration with the Cordillera Association of Regional Executives to help DA monitor vegetable supply and amount of unsold vegetables, particularly cabbages and Chinese cabbage whose prices have fallen due to a supply glut.
She said unsold vegetables from various trading posts totaling 11 tons were initially procured by the national government offices in Baguio City and neighboring areas between January 5 and 6. From January 8 to 14, farmers sold 44 tons, followed by 105.6 tons a week later at prices ranging from P10 to P15 per kilo, she added.
Some vegetable farmers in the Cordilleras usually opt to dump older inventory to prevent prices of vegetables from falling further when new harvests— those preferred by traders—arrive at trading posts.
Agriculture Secretary Tiu Laurel wants to improve and expand market access for farmers and fisherfolk as part of his 8-point plan to modernize agriculture, increase food production, lower food cost, ensure food security, and make farming and fishery a bankable investment alternative.
“It’s our goal to make agriculture a profitable venture for millions of farmers, fishermen and others in the value chain. By helping them bring their products directly to market, we’re not only helping agriculture workers and entrepreneurs but providing consumers access to lower-priced food products,” said Secretary Tiu Laurel.
“We hope to replicate this program in other parts of the country and in other agricultural products, including poultry, livestock, fish and high value crops,” he added. By DA-AFID