Standing by its name “Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita”, commonly known as the Kadiwa On Wheels and Express of the Department of Agriculture (DA), is gaining ground as it opens market opportunities for both farmer-producers and consumers despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) and the Agricultural Productivity Office (APO) from the city government of Cagayan de Oro, convened earlier this week, to tackle the strides, challenges encountered, and even the institutionalization of the Kadiwa following an overwhelming response since it took off a month ago.
For almost a month operations, the Kadiwa has generated sales of around Php1.9 million, from its patrons coming from barangays Agusan, Lumbia, Iponan, Kauswagan, Carmen, Puntod, Bulua, Kauswagan, Canitoan, Indahag, Macasandig, Balulang, 29 and 23.
“Through our Kadiwa, urban dwellers were able to buy fresh, healthy and nutritious produce and other food products, mostly from our farmer-groups, including the private sector at very reasonable prices,” Carlota S. Madriaga, regional technical director for operations said.
She explained that the initiative directly links farmer-producers and suppliers to the market, eliminating trading layers, thus translating to affordability of products.
Meanwhile, Arlene Bautista, one of the exhibitors during the Kadiwa, held in barangay Indahag remarked: “this [Kadiwa] is a big help for us. Products from our barangay, ranging from rootcrops, fruits and vegetables were brought and were sold here in CdeO, which allows our local farmers to earn income amid the pandemic.”
Recognizing gains and seeing that more barangays is yet to be served at the same time clamor from previously served areas, DA in partnership with APO has agreed to have this Kadiwa on a regular basis.
“As movement restrictions are being imposed during this time of community quarantine, it is targeted to be conducted from Tuesdays to Fridays to select barangays by the city government,” the director detailed.
Aside from assuring markets for our food security frontliners, Madriaga detailed, that the duo is eyeing for a more seamless conduct of the Kadiwa in the city barangays.
“With the current health threat, we are looking to further decongest the number of people coming into our Kadiwa, as we will open three outlets in a barangay, to allow more room for physical distancing while enforcing a ‘no mask and no exit pass, no entry’ policy while consumers are doing their marketing,” Madriaga elaborated.
For the agency’s part, the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division is at the moment tapping more farmer-producers and suppliers to source out more varied agricultural products for display during the Kadiwa, including securing its price list.
“By doing so, we can help more consumers identify what to buy and budget aside from preventing them to stay longer while heading out to the Kadiwa,” the director said.#