THE Department of Agriculture in Region 10 (DA-10), through its "Kadiwa on Wheels" program, has so far earned some P1.9 million in Cagayan de Oro City alone this month.
With support from the city government's Agricultural Productivity Office (APO), the income was generated from consumers coming from Barangays Agusan, Lumbia, Iponan, Kauswagan, Carmen, Puntod, Bulua, Kauswagan, Canitoan, Indahag, Macasandig, Balulang, 29 and 23, for almost a month of operation.
Carlota S. Madriaga, DA-10 technical director for operations, said over the weekend that the initiative directly links farmer-producers and suppliers to the market, eliminating trading layers, thus translating to the affordability of products.
“Through our Kadiwa, urban dwellers were able to buy fresh, healthy and nutritious produce and other food products, mostly from our farmer-groups, including the private sector at very reasonable prices,” she said.
Standing by its name “Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita”, commonly known as the Kadiwa on Wheels and Express, DA-10 said the program is gaining ground as it opens market opportunities for both farmer-producers and consumers amid the prevailing health crisis.
Arlene Bautista, one of the exhibitors during the Kadiwa held in Barangay Indahag, said “this [Kadiwa] is a big help for us. Products from our barangay, ranging from root crops, fruits, and vegetables were brought and were sold here in CdeO, which allows our local farmers to earn income amid the pandemic.”
Recognizing the gains and seeing that there are still many villages that are yet to be served by the mobile market, DA-10 in partnership with APO has agreed to have this Kadiwa on a regular basis.
“As movement restrictions are being imposed during this time of community quarantine, it is targeted to be conducted from Tuesdays to Fridays to select barangays by the city government," Madriaga said.
Aside from assuring markets for the food security front-liners, she said DA-10 and APO are eyeing more seamless conduct of the Kadiwa in the city's barangays.
“With the current health threat, we are looking to further decongest the number of people coming into our Kadiwa, as we will open three outlets in a barangay, to allow more room for physical distancing while enforcing a ‘no mask and no exit pass, no entry’ policy while consumers are doing their marketing,” she said.
Meanwhile, DA's Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division is tapping more farmer-producers and suppliers to put more varied agricultural products for display during the Kadiwa.
Elson Jalapong, a sari-sari store owner in Barangay 23, is thankful to DA-10 as it brought the Kadiwa market to their place.
Since the city-wide implementation of the community quarantine, he said his family has been having difficulty in making ends meet.
"I am thankful that DA brought the Kadiwa market to our barangay. The products sold are cheaper and affordable that helps us save, especially that our daily earning is much lesser now during the quarantine. I am looking forward to another round of Kadiwa market in our place," he said.
For the Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperatives (NMFDC), which is behind the Highland Fresh Dairy Products, the Kadiwa market has helped their group get steady sales.
"Our production has been affected since the implementation of the quarantine period. Our sales have dropped significantly. So, one of our strategies is to continue joining DA's Kadiwa. Somehow, this helps us to maintain our daily sales," Jhuryvie Sardovia, Highland Fresh's, accounting staff-turned-saleslady, said.
Barangay 23 chair Mario Balsarza said his constituents have not only saved some money because of the Kadiwa market but it also prevented them from going to congested places like the public market, a precautionary, and safe measure against Covid-19.
"I will look into inviting the Kadiwa market some other time to our barangay. This is very helpful to our people during this time. I am very thankful that DA has considered our barangay as one of its display areas," Balsarza said. He also disclosed that the Kadiwa market also enabled barangay residents to display their homemade products.
Meanwhile, DA-10 executive director Carlene C. Collado, led the distribution on April 24 of fresh farm eggs and assorted vegetable seeds in cans and in packets in the town of Tubod, Lanao del Norte, which was received by Mayor Leoncio C. Bagol and Maj. Randy A. Pontanes, who represented Col. Rene P. Solidarious, officer-in-charge of Lanao del Norte Police Provincial Office.
The eggs, which were donated by San Miguel Foods, Corp., will be distributed to the town's health workers and other front-liners of the Covid-19 crisis.
The assorted vegetable seeds in packets (40 at 20 grams, 2 at 250grams) and in cans (8 at 50 grams each) will also be due for distribution to farmers and municipal residents, who want to grow their own vegetables for consumption, especially during this quarantine period.
Eggs and vegetable seeds will also be given to uniformed police personnel manning the different quarantine checkpoints in the municipality. (PNA)
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