The Department of Agriculture (DA) has brought to the internet the operations of its Kadiwa outlets, making these available online to let local government units (LGUs) place bulk orders for agricultural items as millions of Filipinos continued to rely on relief for survival during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine against COVID-19.
The multi-platform system was created to ease the transport and delivery of commodities and encourage LGUs to distribute nutritious food and reduce reliance on canned goods and instant noodles – the usual staple of relief packages.
At the same time, this would give the country’s local food producers a stable market even with lockdowns imposed nationwide to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said “there have been hurdles and challenges in the movement of agri-fishery products” at the start of the quarantine enforcement.
“So, we are making some adjustments in our Kadiwa program using simple and technological solutions,” he said.
This, he added, would “ensure continuous and unhampered supply of fresh produce to consumers, particularly those in metropolitan areas.”
Farmers and fishermen continued to work, putting themselves in the crosshair of the disease, despite quarantine measures. But some of their produce are left to spoil because of weak food positioning and hampered deliveries caused by inconsistent local quarantine rules.
The Kadiwa Express and the Kadiwa Online aim to address these issues by employing the help of the private and the public sector in transporting and distributing agricultural products to designated drop-off points across Metro Manila.
The items would be coming from farmer cooperatives, associations and trading centers in Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Benguet and Quezon provinces.
From there, DA employees would facilitate the transport of these commodities to offloading points, where LGUs can collect their orders.
The agency is also now offering door-to-door and cash-on-delivery options for subdivisions, barangay ceners and other organizations that would order products in bulk through Kadiwa Online.
Items that may be ordered from the website include vegetables, fruits, rice, eggs, cooking oil and other basic food items.
For now, the system takes bulk orders (minimum of 2 kilograms) with a fixed delivery fee of P100 which would be automatically given to drivers. It is already available in at least 25 cities across the greater Manila area, with a maximum waiting time of one week.
Areas that are already being catered to include Alabang, Antipolo, Bicutan, Bonifacio Global City, Cainta, Caloocan, Fairview, Katipunan, Las Piñas, Libis, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Pasay, Parañaque, Pasig, Pateros, Quezon City, San Juan, Sucat, Taguig, Taytay, Tondo, and all areas in between.
Kristine Evangelista, assistant agriculture secretary for agribusiness, said the DA would give priority in the rollout of the Kadiwa program to Metro Manila and other densely populated areas in Luzon where agricultural production is minimal.
At least 66 more Kadiwa sites are expected to be opened nationwide, to ensure that farmers could get the best prices for their goods, while providing adequate, affordable, safe, and nutritious food to consumers.
Edited by TSB
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