CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to launch its “Kiss Me” program this October in a bid to open community outlets for more poultry and fish products.

The DA said that Kiss Me stands for Karne, Isda Supply Suporta sa Masa at Ekonomiya.

The program is aimed to open neighborhood outlets selling dressed chicken and poultry products, meat and fish which come directly from the farmers and fisher folks.

This means more outlets in communities and areas near sources of farm supply. Kiss Me will also remove the need for middlemen that exploit prices.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that a Japanese company, Sanden Philippines, has pledged to support the program by initially lending out chillers, freezers, cold storage and refrigerated truck vans to support the project.

"As directed personally by President Duterte, disabled and wounded soldiers will be tasked to manage the program to provide them livelihood. This will first be established in military commissaries and later, if successful, in housing subdivisions and highly populated areas. The expected results would be affordable food commodities for consumers, better income for the food producers and most of all, a viable livelihood activity for the country's heroes," Piñol said.

The DA said this is part of the advocacy to limit the influence of middlemen and traders in the food supply chain and the prices continues with the staging of a series of TienDA Farmers and Fishermen's Outlets.