The COVID-19 pandemic has showed that the threat of hunger is as real as the threat of the virus itself. In the parlance of food production, it is imperative that food is made available, affordable, and accessible at all times.
When the global economy including food production is disrupted, countries have to rely on their own. Hence, the need to boost local food production at all times.
Also, the dynamics of the food value chain must always be unhampered and unimpeded. The link from farm to table must always be ensured. It should be seamless—a vital factor to sustain the feeding of an entire population.
A whole-of-nation approach cannot be overemphasized for all interventions to work, especially at this time. Partnerships are essential, agencies and other entities including the general public, must work together to fight the threat to health and hunger.
The Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program is the agribusiness and marketing initiative of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to help link local farmers and fishers directly to consumers.
Kadiwa is the direct marketing program of the DA that is garnering popular support from various local government units, barangays and homeowners’ associations in Metro Manila and major urban centers, both benefiting thousands of farmers and consumers.
It operates in three modes, namely: Kadiwa Retail or Direct Selling which establishes physical retail stores to accommodate farmers’ produce for sale to customers especially in population dense areas; Kadiwa on Wheels which brings agri-fishery products to barangays and villages through rolling stores in vehicles; and e-Kadiwa or the digital marketing platform that allows customers to order products online.
Kadiwa Express, a logistics system that transports agri-fishery products from agricultural trading posts, supports Kadiwa. Examples of these are the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center and the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal that transport produce to food terminals in Metro Manila and other urban areas.
During the initial stages of the pandemic, through the Kadiwa, the DA was able to establish the link between production and the market and ensured that the producers got the right price for their products, while the consuming public bought them at a fair and affordable price. It has been a win-win arrangement especially during the pandemic when movement of people and produce had been very limited.
Initially, Kadiwa activities engaged about 12,000 farmers, market porters, packagers, and truckers, among other workers in the food value chain.
To date, it has served around 1.5 million households, a big chunk of which is from the National Capital Region. The sales have reached more than P320 million which benefitted around 22,000 farmers nationwide, mostly from the north.
“We are happy that our local chief executives and private sector are heeding our call and taking advantage of reasonably-priced agri-fishery products sold in Kadiwa outlets,” said Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar.
With the launch of the Kadiwa multi-platform system, secretary Dar said that the DA expects more LGUs and entities participating in the enhanced Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita program.