The Cacadcadaan Multipurpose Cooperative (MPC) and Bosigan Multipurpose Cooperative (MPC) of Mankayan, Benguet will be selling highland vegetables in the soon to rise San Fernando City, Pampanga Trading Post this month of September.
This is part of the COVID-19 response of the Civil Affair Support Team of North Luzon Command to consolidate and support organization and AFP ground units in partnership with the Local Government Units of Pampanga.
The said farmers’ cooperative was linked through the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera through the Agriculture Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD).
The establishment of the San Fernando City Trading post will help farmers recover from losses due to high production costs and restricted mobilization caused by localized lockdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections.
The Transport Terminal and Salilungan Center will be converted as trading centers. The center will help farmers expand their market access to agricultural products.
Regina Lodias, manager of Bosigan Multipurpose Cooperative in Balili, Mankayan said they are hoping that this project will start soon because it will be a big help to their 103 farmer members of their cooperative.
She said it will be an opportunity for the farmers to sell their vegetables produced directly to the buyers without the presence of a middleman that is timely for value-adding to their source of income.
“This linkage is one way to help us farmers to avoid bankruptcy during this COVID-19 pandemic so with the aid of the government we will survive this crisis”, she added.
Aside from the linkage of the DA Kadiwa Program, the department facilitated the transportation system of the Bosigan MPC and other farmers association in the region to market highland vegetables in Metro Manila areas.
According to Capt. Ron JR. Villarosa, Civil Affairs Support Team Leader as instructed by Lt. Gen. Ramilo Manuel Rey, Commander of North Luzon Command said this program is a collaboration between different government agencies to prevent farmers from being exploited due to lack of economic opportunities.
He said this initiative forms part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines ‘ effort on food security and socio-economic rehabilitation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“More than fighting the enemy, the AFP is here to safeguard peace and food. The North Luzon command recognizes the critical role of farmers in providing food security as the bedrock of national security”, he stressed. (DA-RFO CAR, RAFIS)