THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

e-Kadiwa expands as more merchants join the agri digital platform

Author: DA Communications Group | 9 July 2020

The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) e-Kadiwa has continued to expand, with more merchants taking part in bringing following the safe, healthy, and fresh farm produce in Metro Manila through a digital platform system.

On July 9, Agriculture Secretary William Dar signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Mama Sitas, Tuko Fresh Produce, Farmers Juan Ranch, Moolk Creamy Corporation, Moneth Agri Store, Chef’s Corner Meat Outlet, Chicqhenn Mart, Rico’s Lechon, and Lively Grain.

The nine new merchants are now among DA partners who will sell products online and deliver on the same day.

“Digital technology has become a very important tool to enhance agriculture. With all the lockdowns, we need to empower and enhance these mechanisms for the future,” Dar said.

The agri chief added that the Department will ensure that the products sold in the e-Kadiwa meet the requirement of food law relevant to their activities in the food supply chain and that control systems are in place to prevent, eliminate or reduce risks to consumers.

Alongside the nine merchants, DA has also partnered with Grab Express and Lalamove for logistics and delivery service.

Secretary Dar explained that with the disturbance caused by the pandemic in the efforts of the government to modernize, industrialize and digitalize agriculture, an upgraded mechanism such as e-Kadiwa is required to adapt to the new norm.

He added that policy reform should be made focusing on increased food sufficiency level in all commodities, export orientation strengthened, and roadmap for all commodities developed.

Alam naman natin na kulang na kulang in most of the commodities. The potential is there. I agree. We have yet to see the budgetary support from the government plus investment from the private sectors to be made,” Dar said.

The merchants thanked the DA for its efforts in providing a system that will help both the producers and the consumers.

Former overseas worker John Buena of Farmers Juan Ranch expressed appreciation for the support extended by the DA from the national level to the municipal level.

“Thru the Plant, Plant, Plant Program we are able to get financing from ACPC and Landbank. Using that as capital, we will be able offer the modern technologies and ideas we learned from Singapore, Israel and Malaysia,” he said.

Dar said that the country also needs to improve its distribution system to synergize urban and rural areas.

“Distribution system will be part of the whole solution, which will be supported by the implementation of an efficient value chain system,” he said.

Another new merchant, Renato Pamintuan of Tuko Fresh Produce stressed their willingness to help other Filipinos.

“Our company started as a social advocacy. Gusto naming tulungan ang mga maliliit na farmers so nag-establish kami ng company na nag-o-offer ng market linkage. We started to pick-up goods from Mindanao and deliver them in Metro Manila where the markets are. Last year, we assisted the DA in handling the cold storage services for the 10,000 metric tons of red onions,’ he said.

During the signing ceremony, the Secretary announced that DA seeks to partner with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the promotion of ekadiwa.da.gov.ph portal to other countries, which will include the Agricultural Exports section to provide a platform for agricultural companies.

The e-Kadiwa is an online market portal or platform where buyers and sellers can order fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish and have them delivered straight to their homes. ### (Kristel Merle, DA-AFID)

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