Wednesday , May 23, 2018

Farmers from provinces seek link to consumers

STANDING behind her cart of sweet pepper and tomatoes, Vizminda Sibayan, a resident of Biliran, wishes to create a link between the farmers and the buyers.

She may have gotten it for a few days, thanks to her participation in the Department of Agriculture’s TienDA held at The Terraces of the Ayala Center Cebu last over the weekend.

Sibayan, a member of the Nagkaisang Magsasaka ng Caibiran Cooperative, said that the program inspired them to engage in a bigger market. On that same day, she added, that they have already received two offers from interested buyers.

She explained that joining an event like the TienDA opens their business to a bigger market. “Anything we earn at home is limited to what is sold in the municipality. But here, we have extra sales and extra income,” she said in Bisaya.

When asked what she wanted out of the program, she said she hopes to provide her cooperative with new buyers that would result in more shipments for their organic, locally grown vegetables. She also joined in the hope of encouraging more people to plant In Western Visayas Marbeleth Duañas, a participant from Toboso, Negros Occidental, brought with her mangoes, peanuts and sweet potatoes in her stall. She’s part of the Pambansang Mannalon Maguuma Magbabaul Magsasaka ng Pilipinas where they also grow organic vegetables and fruits.

She says that the DA’s initiative in establishing the event helps them earn and uplift their cooperative financially.

Duañas shared that the only time they earned extra earn was during their Organic Festival. “That’s the only thing people go there for, to buy,” she said in Bisaya.

She expects to see a bigger demand since their products are cheaper than in the other markets.

DA 7 Director Leo Cañeda said that the event is for the farmers and producers. He added that the intention is to “showcase the products and be assured of patronage and support for institutional buyers.” “This is just an attempt to tell them what we can offer, and how can they support our endeavors,” said Cañeda.

The program is meant to connect rural agricultural entrepreneurs to the urban market. Aside from links, the department also wants to give consumers basic agricultural goods and help farmers and fisherfolk generate income. (Aubrey Rose J. Secuya & Tessa Frances Aguilar, USJ-R Interns)