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Farmers’ coop hopes that the next administrator will continue the Kadiwa initiative.

BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES — On Wednesday, a farmers’ cooperative expressed hope that the government of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will continue the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” program and begin allocating fixed locations for its stores.

In an Ilocano phone conversation, Liby Ngaseo of the Bosigan Multipurpose Cooperative in Mankayan Benguet remarked, “For us who observed it, we can say it is a wonderful initiative that can be followed and extended since it may help the farmers.”

The only issue he sees with the program is its long-term viability, as the locations of its stores change frequently, preventing customers from returning to buy more supplies.

“It would be best if fixed locations were provided where buyers could go and buy their supplies on a regular basis,” he said. “Because the schedule changes so frequently, buyers will not be able to rely on it and will have to settle for other marketing areas where they can buy their products on a regular basis.”

Ngaseo claimed the program taught them “crop programming,” a system promoted by the Department of Agriculture and the provincial government of Benguet to avoid commodity surplus.

It also addresses the issue of soil fertility, which occurs when farmers produce the same commodity on a regular basis, resulting in low-quality soil that affects production.

“We have to assign specific commodities to specific farmers so that we can meet the needs of the program, where we have to deliver supply on a regular basis,” he explained.

According to Ngaseo, the program assists farmers not only with marketing but also with transportation.

The concept of the Kadiwa was popularized during the period of Bongbong’s father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., when centers were constructed to market agricultural products at inexpensive prices, according to Dr. Cameron Odsey, Regional Director of the DA in the Cordillera.

“Pwedeng bumili ang mga mamamayan doon ng supply nila para makabili at marami ang maka-avail ng murang presyo (People can buy supplies there in little quantities so that more people can buy cheap products),” Odsey added.

He claims that Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s Kadiwa Program has enabled the agency to assist farmers and small agriculture entrepreneurs by providing a market for their products, particularly during the epidemic when most stores are closed.

Aside from the Kadiwa stores that travel over the country carrying various agricultural items, the various DA offices in various locations have also erected Kadiwa Centers within their grounds to house farmers’ fresh produce or processed goods.

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