CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The agriculture department in Region 10 (DA-10) has strengthened its food resiliency initiatives to further support local farmers and fisherfolk amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant, Program (4Ps) continue to allocate the Local Government Units (LGUs), schools, military personnel, other government agencies and non-government organizations provisions on rice, corn and vegetable seeds, and even livestock, to boost the services and assistance to our local farmers [and other relevant stakeholders],” conveyed Carlota S. Madriaga Regional Technical Director for Operations of DA-10 in an interview.

She stressed the importance of growing their own food to ensure food security among every Filipino household.

Emphasizing the ongoing implementation of DA’s “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” Program, the majority of which is done together with the LGU of Cagayan de Oro to extend marketing support to farmers and fisherfolk in the region.

The Kadiwa project is part of the department’s initiative to ensure affordable and available food for all by directly linking suppliers to consumers, bringing their produce closer to communities.

DA’s Kadiwa sites do not only provide affordable and nutritious food to consumers, but also assuring a market for the produce of farmers and fisherfolk.

“During the peak of COVID-19, where there is difficulty in transporting goods from the suppliers to the consumers, DA-10 provided logistic support to farmers from Claveria, Misamis Oriental and Talakag, Bukidnon to deliver their products to major outlets in CdeO,” she added.

Local farmers and suppliers are encouraged to take part in DA’s Kadiwa on Wheels and locally led Mobile Palengke, to coordinate with DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) for guidance.

Initially, Kadiwa activities have assisted about 66 individual farmers and 1,408 cooperatives, across the 227 Kadiwa sites in the different barangays of the Region with almost P17 million total sales generated as of September.

Despite the COVID-19 triggered pandemic in early March, the National Economic Development Authority reported, that the agriculture sector posted a 1.6 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first semester, this year. # (Irish Mae Juntahan)