After a successful launch in San Andres, Manila last week, the Department of Agriculture (DA) opened on Friday another outlet of its Tienda Malasakit Store in Quezon City.
Located at the DA’s compound along elliptical road, the Tienda Malasakit offers agricultural produce at farm gate prices.
Consumers promptly made a beeline for the rice stalls where commercial rice was being sold at p40 per kilo and NFA rice for P27 per kilo.
Shopper Lagrimas Flores was delighted with the DA’s initiative.
“Ang ganda ng ginawa nila.kasi lahat ng mabibili mo dito mura ng halaga simula sa isda prutas, lalo na sa bigas,” she said.
Other lower-priced goods include sugar at P48 per kilo; fruits and vegetables for up to P100 per kilo; and different types of fish such as bangus and tilapia, for not more than P150 per kilo.
The products are sold at a cheaper price because they are sourced directly from farmers in Central Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
A third Tienda Malasakit Store is set to open in Taguig City on October 13.
The initiative benefits not only consumers but also the vegetable farmers who supply Metro Manila.
“Ngayon medyo nabuhayan sila kasi andito na yung suporta ng gobyerno sa kanila… binigyan natin sila ng working capital na P20 million at saka bibigyan natin sila ng pautang. Tawag natin dito, production loan,” Region 10 OIC Regional Director Carlene Collado said.
More outlets are targeted to be opened in other areas of Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, the DA is continuously coordinating with local governments for the establishment of Tienda Malasakit stores in their respective localities. — Reynante Ponte
Agri-business exposition seen to boost farmers’ income
More than 50 micro-agripreneurs and farmers are expected to convene at the upcoming Agribusiness Support for Promotion and Investment in Regional Exposition (ASPIRE) in Butuan City on October 12-14
The agri-business exposition is a project of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
The event will feature various processed foods made from high-value crops called “emerging products”.
These include mushroom chicharon sold in several parts of the region.
The project aims to bring the agricultural products closer to consumers in an effort to boost additional income for farmers apart from growing their crops.
“Ito ang matatawag natin na mega exhibit dito sa Caraga kasi lahat ng agencies nandito, kahit kami nasa background lang, pero sasali kami dito kasi ang layon natin dito na ang ating farmers ay maging entrepreneurs at maging mga exporters”,” said DOST-CARAGA Assistant Regional Director Ricardo Varela.
Farmers’ product displays are free-of-charge. The agriculture department also confirmed that products are sold at affordable prices.
the DA said the intensified promotion of emerging agri-products is what sets the mega trade fair apart from all the previous fairs. — Raymond Octobre
DA grants P30-M agri aid to over 500 Bukidnon farmers
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol (c)
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol led the granting of farming equipment and financial aid to over 500 farmers in Talakag, Bukidnon, Friday, September 14.
The Department of Agriculture provided the farmers’ association P20 million capital for vegetable production; four (4) forward tractors; five (5) carabaos and five (5) cattle; and different varieties of seeds.
The initiative is part of the DA’s plan to develop the 10,000 hectare of land in Talakag into a major plantation of high-value crops.
Secretary Piñol said time will come when the country will no longer lament the rising prices of vegetables in the market because Bukidnon would be the new leading source of high-value vegetables. He explained that Bukidnon’s cool climate and fertile land are suitable for farming.
The local government of Bukidnon on Wednesday began the drafting of the five-year development road map for vegetable production in Impasugong, Talakag, Sumilao and Lantapan (IMTASULA). — Raymond Octobre
Gov’t loses P2B/year to rice smuggling in Zambasulta
Smuggled rice seized by the Bureau of Customs at the Port of Manila
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) estimates that about 200,000 metric tons or 4 million sacks of rice from Vietnam and Thailand are being shipped by smugglers in Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (Zambasulta) every year.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said smuggling in the said area is causing the government to lose P2 billion worth of revenues that end up in the pockets of corrupt officials.
Smuggled rice has also made its way to Central Visayas which threatens local farmers in Mindanao who are losing farmhands.
The Secretary added that the government’s intensified anti-smuggling campaign caused the dwindling of rice supply in Zambasulta which resulted in the price hike.
In order to curb smuggling in Zambasulta, the DA and the National Food Authority (NFA) are currently studying the establishment of a rice trading center.
“They (NFA council) agreed that those smugglers there should be paying taxes to the government and become legal suppliers of rice for the region,” Piñol said.
Zambasulta is only able to harvest 10 percent of their annual rice requirement of 201,000 metric tons.
The NFA is also currently processing the permit for private importation of 132,000 metric tons of rice through minimum access volume. These will be allocated to affected areas only.
Loans given to farmers through production loan easy access are also expected to boost rice production, according to DA. – Rey Pelayo / UNTV News & Rescue