The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera pushes for small individual farmers and fisherfolk to join Farmers and Fisherfolk Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) and/or Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) for the farmers to be more aware and thus take advantage of the agency’s implemented interventions.
As this month marks the first year of the agency’s KADIWA marketing strategy, its continuous upscaling and constant implementation has positioned partner FCAs at an advantage as much as it benefited numerous consumers all over the country through its direct marketing scheme.
The strategy opened and explored multiple avenues for the linkage–be it bringing produce closer to buyers and consumers, provision of transportation means, or allowing produce display on the DA’s ADC facility.
For instance, in the week of September 21-27, 2020, 6 farmer organizations were assisted by the DA-CAR to transport their produce through the KADIWA Express to La Trinidad, Benguet, to Pampanga, as well as to various areas within the National Capital Region (NCR) such as Cavite, Marikina, Quezon City, and Paranaque. Out of the 20,922 kg of these highland vegetables, 6,900 kg of which were cabbages.
With the pandemic, the upscaling of KADIWA was seen by the agency as a response to proactively deal with the brunt brought to both consumers and food producers. Thus, the Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra sa COVID-19 Program. Soon after, vegetable price drops became inevitable during the new normal, so as the need to increase farmers’ benefits. All of which now leads to the Enhanced KADIWA Inclusive Food Supply Chain Program as a medium to a long-term solution to address these issues.
The Enhanced KADIWA ensures the availability and accessibility of basic food commodities to vulnerable groups (poor to low-income families) through the participation of the private sector, farmers, and communities in the food value chain. It also covers the provision of financial grants for capacity enhancement of (a) FCAs on value-adding activities, and (b) CBOs for the operation and management of KADIWA retail markets or stores.
As of September 18, 2020, there are 15 FCAs with complete eligibility requirements, with their business plans already submitted to DA-CAR’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) for review. The fields of these FCAs were validated and assessed beforehand. The Division’s Chief Jerry Damoyan affirms, “One way to attain a greater bargaining power is to organize and move as one. Farmers are thus encouraged to join an organization and cooperate.”
Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan adds, “One of the benefits of joining FCAs is for mutual help and guidance, considering the scale of marketing and government support. Ever since before, farmers have been working individually.” She also shares that there have been times when farmers enjoin from contracts with institutional buyers because of the inconsistency of production volume.
The KADIWA strategy is not the only program FCAs and CBOs can avail and benefit from. Other DA-led interventions such as training, seminars, inputs, and other forms of assistance can also be accessed by these eligible groups.
Photo courtesy: Erwin Alawas,

Efipa Eddet