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BSP executive: Kadiwa is a crucial defense against food insecurity.

On Tuesday, a member of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Monetary Board (MB), which sets policy, stressed the significance of the Kadiwa program of the Department of Agriculture in alleviating food insecurity experienced by underprivileged communities and groups.

Bruce Tolentino, a member of the MB, praised the government’s attempt to open Kadiwa stores across the nation, calling it “welcome” given the uncertainty surrounding inflation at the time.

He clarified that the Kadiwa program is crucial to the lives of Filipinos in need, particularly those negatively impacted by the rising cost of food and other essentials.

“I would like to clarify that the Kadiwa program is an important measure as it quickly responds to the food insecurity suffered by depressed communities and groups and is also useful to introduce high-nutrient foods to malnourished populations,” Tolentino said in a statement.

“And if it is expanded, hopefully, the (Marcos) administration will find a way to achieve its vision of giving Filipino farmers, fisherfolk, and MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprise) an opportunity to generate more income through direct farm-to-consumer trade through the program,” Tolentino added.

After being quoted in news stories as expressing concern about the program’s long-term viability, Tolentino explained.

Tolentino said that if the program were to be more widespread, the government should find a means to “achieve its vision” of providing Filipino farmers, fisherfolk, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with the chance to increase their income through direct farm-to-consumer commerce.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s farm-to-consumer market chain program, known as Kadiwa, does away with middlemen so that regional producers can charge competitive prices for direct sales to customers.

Nationwide, there are already more than 300 Kadiwa locations.

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