Directed towards achieving economies of scale and enhanced access to markets, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar awarded PHP 1 Million to Tiking Manyedyed Farmers Association Incorporated (TMFAI) and PHP 350, 000 to Duacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DMPC). The awarding was done at DA Cordillera Conference Hall, Guisad, Baguio City on October 30. This is to strengthen the capacities of highland farm clusters in the food supply chain through value-adding interventions from aggregation, processing, packing, storing, warehousing, transport, and distribution.
Under DA’s flagship market development scheme of KADIWA ni Ani at Kita, the Enhanced KADIWA Inclusive Food Supply Chain program intends to provide financial assistance to Farmer And Fisherfolk Cooperatives or Associations (FCAs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to sustainably operate the KADIWA which minimizes layers of traders through direct selling.
Found eligible by DA Cordillera’s Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), the TMFAI of Bauko, Mountain Province will utilize the cash assistance for the construction of a storing shed to serve as a consolidation and packing house supporting its vegetable trading business. Through this, the association is expected to be able to consolidate and sell 40 tons per month of assorted vegetables benefitting 150 farmers through the Enhanced Kadiwa funded facility.
“Dakkel ti panagyaman mi iti DA gapo ta manipud idi rugi ti pandemya ada dan a tumultulong ti panagilako, panagbyahe ti apit. Sapay ta agtultuloy pay kuma iti panangisakit mo kadakami Secretary. Matago tago kayo. (We are very thankful to DA for helping since the start of this pandemic in marketing and transport of our produce. We are hoping for the Secretary’s continuous empathy. Long live,” shared Jovito Palayen TMFAI President.
On the other hand, DMPC being an active FCA providing agri-related production loans plan to use the grant to expand its current services to include vegetable trading in Kabayan, Benguet. As one of its strategies to help local farmers, it will accept farm produce as a loan payment. “This assistance will strengthen our operations at the association especially that our farmers were affected by the restrictions brought by COVID-19 and the drop of kamatis, carrots, and cabbage prices. This is an opportunity for return of investments and DA is always with us along the way,” expressed Marylou Cosalan, DMPC Chairperson of the Board.
Among the 30 highland FCAs and CBOs that are currently under review by DA-CAR AMAD for the enhanced KADIWA grant, 17 of which are from Benguet, seven groups from Mountain Province, three from Ifugao, and four inter-regional associations. //MJDacillo//