MANILA -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) has partnered with SM Supermalls and a group of restaurant owners to mount a local farmers' market amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed Farmers' Produce, the project aims to provide livelihood to farmers and fishermen and help reboot the restaurant industry.
The DA signed a memorandum of agreement with SM Supermalls and Resto PH, headed by Eric Teng of Mango Tree Restaurants, last Wednesday.
Under the deal, SM will provide underutilized spaces free of charge for farmers and cooperatives to sell their products.
"This win-win solution will immensely help us reboot the economy, demonstrating the need to strengthen our food production and distribution systems during crisis and non-crisis situations," Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.
Farmers' Produce will kick off on July 3 at the Skypark of SM Aura Premier in Taguig. The event, which will run until July 5, will feature vegetables, fruits in season, herbs, condiments, seasonings, dairy products, tea selections, coffee, and local wines.
On Friday, members of Resto PH will prepare menus utilizing products by Cada Farmers Agriculture Cooperative, L. Sanchez Farm, Liwon Namal Farmers Tomato Association, Optimum Health Poultry and Livestock Farm Corporation, National Dairy Authority, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Balai Kabute Farm, and Mira's Turmeric Products.
The DA said it is planning to hold more Farmers' Produce events in other SM malls nationwide.
“We will start in Metro Manila at gagawin din natin sa ibang lugar sa bansa,” DA Assistant Secretary Evangelista said.
"Resto PH is committed to buy directly from our farmers. They will be the suppliers of restaurant at iyong mga matitira na products ay tutulungan din ng Resto PH," DA Assistant Secretary for agribusiness and marketing Kristine Evangelista added.