Around 300 farmers of Kabayan, Benguet benefitted from the Kadiwa Ni Ani at Kita Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) last May 14, 2020.

Aimed at ensuring the continuous and unhampered flow of essential food across the country, the DA directly linked Kabayan farmers to a private buyer from Metro Manila. They were able to sell a total of 10,000 kilograms of assorted highland vegetables such as chayote, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, baguio beans, and cauliflower.

Packing of the said vegetables into ‘chopsuey’ set was done by the farmers while the transport to Metro Manila was facilitated by the DA-CAR by providing three four-ton capacity trucks.

Julie Felix, Planning and Development Officer of Eddet Farmers Indigenous Peoples Association (EFIPA), said that they reached out to the Department to assist them in marketing their vegetables during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Felix praises the Department for the quick response through the DA’s Kadiwa Express link. The Program did not only helped them but the farmers in neighboring barangays by enabling them as well to sell their vegetable produce.

“Many farmers in our municipality benefitted from this program which allowed us to market our products, at the same time, ensure price stability and affordability of our goods to the consuming public. Isu nga dakkel iti panagyaman mi iti gobyerno ti daytoy a programa (We are really thankful to the government for this program),” she stressed.

Prior to the May 14 transaction, the EFIPA have already made their first transaction through the Kadiwa Express on May 12, 2020. In here, they were able to sell 2,000 kg of carrots and 190kg of cauliflowers.

With the continuous transaction, President of EFIPA Margie Felix expressed that the Program helped them earn better because the added markup of traders and transportation costs were reduced. She said that the program gave employment opportunities to farm laborers hired as vegetable packers.

Likewise, Bibiana Kibo, another member of EFIPA, noted that the Kadiwa Express is a big help in selling their vegetables. She hopes that the assistance of linking them to the market will continue beyond the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Under the DA-ACPC’s Expanded Survival and Recovery loan Program, a total of 112 farmers were qualified and finally received their loans as of May 15 through the Bashoy Farmers MPC and Tawangan ARC MPC who served as the lending conduit. This loan is primarily provided to farmers whose livelihood were affected by the ECQ due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The loan amounts to 25,000 pesos, no interest, no collateral, and payable within three or up to 10 years depending on the arrangements made with ACPC and the lending conduit.

With the implementation of the ECQ, the Kadiwa program has been fine-tuned to serve more consumers in the urban areas and improve market linkages between consumers, farmers, and producers especially so that the Cordillera region is one of the top producers of highland vegetables in the country.//