(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 24 September 2021) Easterlies affecting Luzon. Localized thunderstorms affecting Mindanao. ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE OUTSIDE PAR AS OF 3:00 AM TODAY TROPICAL STORM MINDULLE (2116) LOCATION: 1,890 KM EAST OF SOUTHERN LUZON (14.2°N, 141.7°E) MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 85 KM/H GUSTINESS: UP TO 105 KM/H MOVEMENT: WEST NORTHWEST AT 20 KM/H Caraga Region will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides due to severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Northeast to Northwest will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas/(0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Tuesday, September 7, 2021

KADIWA: Bringing food closer, making farmers’ lives better

Amid the pandemic and community-wide lockdowns, hundreds of agri-fishery food suppliers served as front-liners who ensured that food is made available and accessible to the community. Through this, thousands of consumers have availed essential food and products right at the premises of their homes. All these were made possible through the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita initiative, which began in 2019, allows farmers to directly access consumers without going through a multilayer marketing structure by building Kadiwa storefronts in cities around the nation, allowing farmers to sell their goods at a higher profit margin. The program was even heightened during the start of the lockdown where logistics of goods were hampered.

Supporting Local

For DA Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo, buying local products and supporting the local farmers and fisherfolk is the first step of the Caraganon to upsurge the agriculture sector in the region.

"In this time of the pandemic, the maximum effort that we can contribute to our affected farmers and fishers is to support what they offer. Because through this, we can deliver what is mandated to us, to produce food for the country, and to uplift the lives of our farmers...our heroes in these times," he said.

DA-Caraga Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) Chief Lyn Pareñas said that the concept of the Kadiwa is to make sure food is available in highly populated or urbanized areas, create direct market linkage from farmers to consumers, and extend services on the marketing and entrepreneurial capacities of the local farmers and fisherfolks.

“When pandemic started, the people were compelled to stay at home. When we started the Kadiwa, we were able to help the communities by linking our farmers, or what we call Kadiwa suppliers to sell their products. So, people, we will no longer have to get out to buy their food,” Pareñas said.

Rolling out the Kadiwa-On-Wheels

Through the Kadiwa mobile market, the consumers were allowed to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and other fishery products, fresh and frozen meat and poultry products, as well as some dry goods, right at the premises of the barangays.

Farmers, fishers, and other goods suppliers were ensured of a market for their products and continue to earn an income despite the implementation of the community quarantine in the city which limited the mobility of the people and businesses.

“During the Kadiwa-On-Wheels, the role of the DA was to organize different venues, attend to the needs of our farmer suppliers, and provide the necessary logistics so they could comfortably trade their products - for free,” Pareñas added.

In 2020, the Kadiwa-on-Wheels had served 12, 026 consumers or buyers during its simultaneous roll out in the different barangays of Butuan City. Data showed that from the 49 Kadiwa farmer suppliers who participated, they were able to sell a volume of 31,421 kg. generating P3,193,488.

Even when the lockdown had already been lifted, Kadiwa-On-Wheels was still on the run-up until 2021. This time, serving different government agencies called Kadiwa-sa-Pamahalaan. In 2020, it was able to serve 1,412 beneficiaries and generated a gross sale of P624,131. Meanwhile, in 2021, it was able to generate P47,147 of gross sales in total.

Bringing Food Closer, Keeping Consumers Safe

Larry Abuzo, Chairperson of Brgy. Agusan Pequeño, Butuan City one of the communities visited by the Kadiwa on Wheels said that they appreciate this program of the government. “Residents of our Barangay don’t need to go to the market or grocery store anymore since their needs were already brought here,” he said.

On the other hand, Nida De Castro Chen, a resident of Brgy. Pangabugan in Butuan City said that she is really happy with her Kadiwa-on-Wheels experience. “I was able to buy some fish at a low price. This is a very good program because we don’t have to go far to buy our basic needs. There is less risk of being exposed to COVID19,” Chen said. 

Moreover, as the community quarantine eases, the DA-AMAD also tapped private companies such as SM City Butuan and Robinsons’ Place to hold its Kadiwa Ni at Kita and reach more consumers in a much safer venue.

In 2020, the Kadiwa sa Robinsons’ Place in Butuan had served 1,215 individuals. The program was able to sell a volume of 5,652.50 kilograms, generating P724,768. Meanwhile, as of August 2021, the program was able to serve 6,540 consumers, sold at least 13,169 kg., and was able to generate P1,487,036 gross sales. For the Kadiwa sa SM City Butuan, it was able to serve 580 beneficiaries, sold at least 3,955 kg., amounting to P289,557.

Additional support for Kadiwa Suppliers

Apart from the Kadiwa-on-Wheels, Kadiwa sa Pamahalaan, and Kadiwa in Malls which helped farmers build linkages among consumers, the program also launched its Enhanced Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita where it capacitates farmers/fisherfolk organizations to become reliable food commodity suppliers to consumers and for community based-organizations to sustainably operate the Kadiwa retail stores. They were granted working capital to sustain their operations.

“Because we hold on to our aim of making food available, it’s also time to grant these hardworking Kadiwa suppliers with additional capital to buy supplies and equipment that would help them sell their produce directly to consumers,” Pareñas said.

The program was lodged under the Bayanihan Act of 2020 where the Enhanced Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita in the region was apportioned of P4 Million pesos. One of the grantees of the program which was given a P500,000 grant is the Sumilihon-Taguibo Farmers’ Association from Sumilihon, Butuan City. They procured one pick-up truck which they can use to deliver their products to the market.

Bayugan Achievers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BAMPCO) from Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur also received P300,000. According to BAMPCO Finance Head Grace Ostique, they were able to procure necessary equipment which helped ease their business transaction.

“Through the money granted, we were able to acquire a refrigerator for our vegetable supplies, digital weighing scale, and commodities such as egg and chicken. Since we are the partner of the Department in its subsidy programs, the equipment will be a good help,” Ostique said.

In the Bayanihan 1 allocation, a total of six Farmer Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) in the region were supported by the financial grant from the Enhanced Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita.  

Continuous support leads to unending opportunities

According to AMAD Chief Lynn Pareñas, the support granted by the department to the farmers did not end after they were able to build marketing linkages for them.

“We have so many plans for our Kadiwa partners such as our annual capacity building training and seminars because I believe this will be a great advantage for them in the future. The DA supports them because we see something in them,” she added.  (Kent Warren H. Fugoso, DA Caraga RAFIS/PIA Caraga)