IN A bid to further help boost the agriculture sector, the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental is eyeing to establish a network of connectivity for markets and products of the farmers in the country, an official said.

Provincial Agriculturist Edmundo Raul Causing, who spoke at the opening of the five-day Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita at the Capitol Grounds in Bacolod City yesterday, March 7, underscored the need to link the local produce to the market.

Thus, Causing said, the activity aims to get together the producers from Davao Region with the consumers as well as producers of agricultural products in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.

“Eventually, we hope to establish a network which would enable us to connect the markets and products from different islands,” he added.

The Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita at the Capitol Grounds that features various fruits from Davao Region is initiated by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas and provincial government in partnership with DA Davao Region

DA-Davao brought about 20 metric tons of assorted quality fruits like durian, mangosteen, rambutan, pineapple, pomelo, marang, jackfruit and banana, among others to be sold to Negrense consumers at affordable prices.

Aside from sharing the Davao’s pride to Negros Occidental, this in response to the directive to mobilize and enhance Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita in all areas affected by Typhoon Odette and to address the food inflation and stabilize high price of agriculture commodities, the regional line agency said.

In terms of prices, assorted varieties of durian are sold at P70 per kilo while premium varieties cost P80 per kilogram (kg).

Mangosteen can be bought at P100 to P120/kg; native duco longkong (lansones) - P80 to P120/kg; marang - P50 to P60/kg; pomelo - P100 to P120/kg; pineapple - P45 to P50/kg; jackfruit - P50/kg; lakatan variety of banana - P25 to P35/kg; cardava - P15 to P20/kg; and mushroom - P350/kg.

Negros Occidental’s diwal (angel wings clam) can also be bought at P250 per kilo for medium size and P300/kg for large size.

Aside from the actual selling, the activity also includes business-to-business and market scanning.

DA-Western Visayas Regional Director Remelyn Recoter, who also spoke at the activity, said the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita is one of the strategies of the agency to link directly the producers to the market.

“We are very happy that the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental under Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has accepted the challenge,” Recoter said, adding that “he [Lacson] also wants the Negrense farmers’ produce to reach the market.”

Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II, in his message, said the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic has taught Negrenses a lot of things, and that the provincial government has actually started innovating in terms of improving the delivery of products from the farmers to the market.

“We want to ensure that food security is there and famers are able to reach the market that they want to reach,” he said, adding that “not only that, we are not just offering fresh produce to the market, we are going further as our shared facility for food processing will soon be operational.”

The official said that these are just some of the ways that the governor has supported the agriculture sector. “The administration is always behind it,” he vowed.