Brenzon Dagwat harvests assorted vegetables from his farm in Buguias, Benguet, and delivers these weekly to the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR)’s KADIWA Retailing, and to other local buyers. Together with other farmers whose farms are GAP-certified, Dagwat regularly supplies clean, packed, and tagged produce to local markets. For this feat during the prevailing community quarantine, he credits the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of DA-CAR.

Voicing his appreciation, “we are grateful to the HVCDP for helping us to deliver higher volumes of our produce to our customers. The DA-CAR has been transporting my produce, as well as that of my other fellow farmers in Bauko , Buguias, Mankayan, and Kibungan since the ECQ has started,” he remarked.

The help comes in the form of a truck that is used to collect and transport the produce – a part of the DA-CAR’s support for the farmers who have voluntarily subjected their farms to GAP certification. As such, the produce is bagged and tagged and sold at a slight premium compared to the produce from non-certified farms. Currently, the farmers being assisted are members of three organizations: The Buguias Ex-Japan Trainees Association (BJATA), the Tiking-Manyedyed Farmers Association of Monamon Sur in Bauko, Mountain Province, and the Madaymen GAP Association (MGAPA) of Madaymen, Kibungan.

Aside from transport assistance, the Department has invited Dagwat to participate in the KADIWA Retailing located at the DA-CAR’s vicinity in Guisad, Bokawkan, Baguio City. He has been delivering around 600 kilograms of assorted vegetables and strawberries every week to his regular market outlets. Aside from the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC), the GAP produce is being supplied to two big buyers – Dizon Farms and Greenstar Produce Philippines, Inc.

Farmers deliver strawberry, iceberg lettuce, fennel, Italian leek, rosemary, Chinese cabbage, celery, and pakchoi to the Dizon Farms, a Philippine company that supplies produce to big supermarkets throughout the country.

On the other hand, orders such as Japanese cucumber; herbs like fennel, dill, Italian leek, curly parsley, and flat-leaf parsley; various types of mini tomatoes; and various type of leafy greens like pakchoi, lettuce (romaine, green ice, iceberg), green and purple kale, and mizuna (Japanese mustard greens) are being delivered to a Japanese-owned Company, Greenstar.

The mobilization of transport vehicles by the DA-CAR will continue while the community quarantine is still in effect. This is to ensure the unhampered movement of essential food, including non-food products, nationwide to make them available, accessible, and at a reasonable price. The Department looks forward to expanding the service to cover other GAP-certified farms in the CAR.//