AFTER Ayala malls, the Department of Agriculture (DA) wants more mall players to participate in TienDA, its newest marketing initiative that allows farmers to display and sell their crops inside malls at no rental cost.
In an interview last Saturday, DA Undersecretary for Agribusiness and Marketing Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the department wants to see more participation from mall owners in the government’s TienDA program.
On the same day, Puyat led the opening of TienDA in the Ayala Center Cebu Terraces grounds where 50 individual farmers and cooperatives from Cebu and neighboring islands in the Visayas like Iloilo, Leyte, and Samar displayed in kiosks their crops like vegetables, rice, corn, and fruits at prices at par with those sold in Cebu City’s Carbon Public Market.
“The important thing is all profits go to them (farmers),” said Puyat in an interview.
In Davao, too
“And for the public, it’s convenient because it is in the mall, malinis (clean), convenient. They don’t have to go through the hassle of going to the public market,” said Aniceto “Jun” Bisnar Jr., president of Cebu Holdings Inc., which runs Ayala Center Cebu.
The TienDa in Ayala Center Cebu ran last Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 25 and 26). Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and President Rodrigo Duterte launched the TienDA in Abreeza Mall in Davao City last week.
At present, however, DA and the Ayala Group have not yet formally agreed on how frequent the TienDA will be. But the undersecretary said they want to hold the activity frequently.
“In Luzon, you need to go through five to eight middlemen” before agriculture products get to the consumers. Hence, making food more expensive for consumers in the Philippines,” Puyat said.
Bisnar, as the chief operation officer of Ayala Land Visayas-Mindanao group, said the government’s partnership with the Ayala Group in TienDA allows farmers to earn more, with the 24 “growth centers” of the company and its presence in 54 towns and cities all over the country.
“These are the areas where this kind of program can be replicated,” Bisnar said.
Puyat also commended the Ayala Malls management for agreeing immediately to the TienDA proposal; she recalled them saying yes “less than five minutes” after it was first proposed. (JOG)