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Malls serve as new outlets for fresh farm produce

Author: DA Communications Group | 4 July 2020

Farmers and cooperatives now have a new outlet where they can directly bring their products to sell to consumers.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) in partnership with the Restaurant Owners of the Philippines (Resto PH) and SM Supermalls have launched their joint project called the “Farmers’ Produce” at the SM Aura Premier’s Skypark Lawn on July 3, 2020.

Initially, the Farmers’ Produce food market will be available at the SM Aura from July 3 to 5, 2020 and will be held next at The Podium on July 15 to 17, 2020.

According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, outlets will soon open in various SM malls nationwide to help the country’s agricultural sector and restaurant industry bounce back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I’m excited to have started this partnership today and to learn from this initial launching. This partnership project called Farmers’ Produce will help give the farmers’ opportunity to earn a higher income. They have markets in the cities and this will encourage them to produce more locally,” Dar said.

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Secretary Dar, Resto PH President Eric Teng, and SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, SM will provide underutilized spaces free of charge where farmers and cooperatives to sell their products.

Resto PH, on the other hand, is committed to buy directly from the farmers to encourage them to produce quality products in large volumes. This will also help farmers practice the market-oriented approach in production.

Consumers in urban areas will also benefit from the project, since they will have better access to fresh, affordable, and quality products with prices that are much lower than the suggested retail price.

According to the price comparison done by the DA Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), consumers can save 15 to 20 percent when buying fresh produce from the Kadiwa Farmers’ Produce compared to other nearby markets in Metro Manila.

For instance, tomatoes are sold at P50/kilogram at the Guadalupe Market, while it is sold at P15/kilogram or 70 percent lower at the Farmers’ Produce. The prevailing prices of sitao at the monitored markets are P60–70/kilogram, but its retail price at the Farmers’ Produce is P40/kilogram, which is 33-43 percent lower.

“Presently, in the case of tomato for one, there is so much supply and that’s why when we bring these tomatoes from Ifugao for example to Metro Manila where the market is open, the farmers will be getting the right price as they should normally have during normal times,” Secretary Dar said.

He thanked the SM Supermalls, Resto PH, and other marketing partners of the DA for the collaboration that is a win-win solution.

The Farmers’ Produce project, which is part of the DA’s market intervention program called Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita, is a collaboration of the government and the private sector to support farmers and fisherfolk in the new normal. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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