MANILA - The Philippine agriculture department is undertaking interventions to help troubled Benguet farmers deal with low prices of vegetables due to oversupply, its chief said Wednesday.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Kadiwa Centers in Metro Manila will be mobilized to receive produce from Benguet farmers at higher prices than current market rates.
According to the DA, “Kadiwa is a market system which sells major agricultural goods at reasonably low prices to help poor Filipino households.”
“May Kadiwa Centers tayo na dito sa Metro Manila, in tandem with the local government units, para diretso na po yung mga farmers na ‘yan, produce ng Benguet at other areas, dito sa Kadiwa Centers at hindi na sa merkado (na) papatungan pa ng mga iba,” Dar told reporters.
(There are Kadiwa Centers already in Metro Manila, in tandem with the local government units, where the farmers can directly go to, like the produce from Benguet and other areas, and no longer in markets where buyers pad the price when they resell.)
Dar said the agency's regional field units have also been instructed to give assistance to farmers, like seeds supply.
“Magse-set up tayo ng processing center para yung mga sobrang-sobra, marami talaga, then you process this. Kimchi, why not?” Dar added.
(We'll set up a processing center so that the excess supply can be processed. Kimchi, why not?)
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said his department has been coordinating with supermarket owners to help link them with Benguet farmers.
“We’ve been talking to supermarkets din last week. Gusto nilang ma-link din sa mga farmers para diretsong madala sa mga stores mismo nila, sa mga retailer na agad, at wala nang trader at maging bagsakan itong mga supermarkets,” Lopez said.
(We've been talking to supermarkets also last week. They want to be linked to the farmers so that products will be brought directly to their stores, to retailers, and not anymore to traders. The supermarkets will now become the initial drop off centers.)