SMC providing outlets for farmers to sell crops amid COVID-19 crisis

May 11, 2020

STALLS selling local farm products have been set up at two Petron stations, with more stores expected to be put up throughout Metro Manila and help provide outlets for local farmers to sell their crops amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The two stores opened courtesy of San Miguel Corporation and operated by the Department of Agriculture at Petron Katipunan near La Vista subdivision and Petron Zabarte station in Kalookan

The program is in support of the DA’s “Kadiwa ng Ani at Kita” nationwide agri market program and aims to provide local farmers a ready market for their products, especially at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly restricted access to markets.

It also makes fresh, healthy products more easily accessible to consumers via Petron’s vast network of gas stations.

“During this time of crisis, our farmers, livestock raisers, fishermen, and everyone in the agricultural sector, are also unsung heroes. We depend on them for our food supply. And yet, they are also among the most vulnerable to the crisis, especially since quarantine restrictions also impact their access to their traditional markets,” explained SMC president Ramon S. Ang.

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“That is why we are grateful to DA Secretary William Dar for giving us the chance to help our farmers through their Kadiwa program. This way, our farmers can still continue their livelihood even during this pandemic,” Ang added.

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“At the same time, we will help boost food accessibility for our citizens, who are asked to limit their movement to essential activities during the quarantine.”

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Earlier, SMC rolled out the first 30 of its target 90 refrigerated van-cum-rolling stores, now situated at various Petron stations. The trucks bring fresh poultry, meats, and ready-to-eat food closer to consumers.

Meanwhile, six Petron Treats convenience stores - out of a target 50 branches - have also started doubling as pick-up/fulfillment stores for San Miguel Foods Inc.’s new online ordering plaform, www.order.sanmiguelfoods.com.

Ang added Petron Corporation and San Miguel Foods Inc., both major businesses under SMC, are currently finalizing plans with the DA to roll out the next farmers’ produce outlets.

In a statement, DA Secretary William Dar said: “Our partnerships with the LGUs, the private sector like SMC and Petron, and farmers' and fisherfolk's groups, attain what we at the Department of Agriculture wanted all along to institutionalize, that is, ensure farmers of a ready market for their produce and a steady income stream, and provide consumers with affordable, healthy and nutritious food. Further, along the process, we also help stabilize the prices of basic commodities.”

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Implemented by the DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service, the Kadiwa program has four variants: Kadiwa on Wheels (vans, jeepneys, trucks, etc.); Kadiwa Retail (fixed location); Kadiwa Express (transport of products to offloading points, where LGUs or private sector can collect their orders), and Kadiwa online (eKadiwa.da.gov.ph).

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