THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

DA, DOTr, DOE partner to provide farmers, fishers reefer vans to lessen postharvest losses, increase food supply

Author: DA Communications Group | 12 March 2021

The departments of agriculture (DA), transportation (DOTr), and energy (DOE) are joining forces to provide farming and fishing communities access to refrigerated container vans or reefer vans that will benefit both producers and consumers.

Agriculture secretary William Dar, transportation secretary Arthur Tugade, and energy secretary Alfonso Cusi signed on March 12, 2021 a tripartite agreement to strengthen and expand the implementation of the existing “Palamigan ng Bayan” program for the agri-fishery sector in strategic areas nationwide.

The “Palamigan ng Bayan” program was previously led by the DOTr in 2018, deploying a dozen reefer vans in selected sites, that served as cold storage facilities of farmers and fishers to preserve the quality of perishable goods, reduce wastage and fetch reasonable prices. This time the DOTr is partnering with the DA and DOE not only to strengthen the “Palamigan ng Bayan” program, but also to expand and sustain it to cover more areas and thus benefit more farmers and fishers nationwide.

Noon, mag-isa naming itinataguyod yang programa. Nababagalan kami kaya nakipagkapit-bisig kami sa DA at DOE, upang sa ganun ay uusad at mapapabilis ang proyektong ito,” said secretary Tugade, highlighting that the tripartite partnership will help address concerns on food shortage and high food prices.

Recognizing the commitment of DOTr and DOE, secretary Dar said the program will be a big boost to the agriculture sector because it will help reduce farm and fishery post-harvest losses, which currently range from 15 to 30 percent (%).

Kung mayroon tayong mga container reefer vans, we could therefore save by 15 to 30 % our postharvest losses and make additional quality and reasonably-priced food available for our countrymen. Maliban dito, ang mga produkto ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda ay darating sa merkado nang sariwa at mas malaki ang kanila kikitain,” the agri chief said.

Under their memorandum of agreement (MOA), the three agencies will promote the use of refrigerated container vans as cold storage facilities to store fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat products, and other perishable goods to address concerns on food quality and safety.

They also committed to ensure the steady and affordable supply of farm and fishery products in support of the DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant program and food security agenda, provide technical and other support services to farmers and fisherfolk, and promote continuing technology innovation.

Under the MOA, the DA will identify priority areas where the reefer vans from DOTr will be established in partnership with qualified farmers’ and fishers’ groups.

The DOE, on the other hand, will provide assistance in ensuring the needed energy access for the efficient and uninterrupted operation of the reefer vans.

For his part, energy secretary Cusi said the strong partnership among the three agencies will ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the “Palamigan ng Bayan” program. ### (Gumamela Bejarin, AFID)

Back to Archives