Help farmers prosper in pandemic; consumers urged to buy local

·2 min read

SUPPORT your local farmer’s produce this holiday season.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 has appealed to consumers to buy directly from the region’s farmers not only to augment their income but also to promote healthy eating.

“We have set up Kadiwa Farmers Market stalls in various malls in Cebu, and many exhibitors wanted to participate. This is also one way to give back to our hardworking farmers,” DA 7 Director Salvador Diputado told SunStar Cebu.

He said people now are leaning more on a plant-based diet to boost their immune system amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our products remain attractive because people want fresh, affordable and more importantly, healthy food to protect themselves more during this time. Buying local products directly from farmers and not from middlemen has also been ingrained in the public’s mind,” he said.

The DA 7 continued to conduct massive information dissemination to help farmers market their goods.

“The public will realize that once they patronize local products, it gives the farmers the incentive to produce more and better goods,” he said.

Diputado said they have a current tie-up with Ulay Agro Industrial Enterprises, a Cebu City-based trader and buyer network that markets fruits, vegetables and other produce.

The DA 7 and the Ulay Agro Industrial Enterprises signed a memorandum of agreement that stipulates that Ulay will participate in the DA’s Kadiwa Program through market linkages of farmer groups and food consumers, bypassing the middlemen.

“Ulay has been assisting farmer groups in Cebu not only in production but also in marketing,” Diputado said.

He said Cebu has conduits for this kind of initiative and they are working on more tie-ups with malls to feature farmers’ produce.

“We also have a tie-up with Robinsons Galleria to join our farmers market initiative. What’s good about this is we don’t display only vegetables and fruits but also other products like fish,” he said. / JOB