Technology use hastens food delivery — DA
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the DA is beefing up its technology-steering Kadiwa Online and Kadiwa Express.
STAR/Geremy Pintolo, file
Technology use hastens food delivery — DA
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - April 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government continues to adopt technology to combat the possible threat of food security amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Agriculture will partner with ride-hailing app Grab and other enterprises with an online-driven platform to speed up movement of food and agricultural products from provinces to consumers.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the DA is beefing up its technology-steering Kadiwa Online and Kadiwa Express.

The Kadiwa Express will use cloud and other information systems in tracking goods, including radio frequency identification, that can monitor where goods are located, while in transit or where the blockade in their transport happens.

Meanwhile, e-Kadiwa or Kadiwa Online will enable consumers to order agricultural goods at their fingertips through their phones and portable devices.

“Because of COVID-19, food affordability, not only availability, becomes critical. The threat is as real as hunger itself. If the supply chain is disrupted, food produced in rural areas just goes to waste,” Dar said.

The enhanced community quarantine in many areas has slowed the delivery of food and agricultural goods, sending much volume to waste.

Worse, consumers suffer from higher prices due to supply logistics bottlenecks.

“Price stability and affordability is key to grow the economy. We need to promote digitalization of agriculture even in marketing,” Dar said.

Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture said the lockdown has opened opportunities for urban agriculture.

Searca director Glenn Gregorio said the pandemic has not only raised food prices but also threatened nutritional security for Filipino consumers.

“Now everyone is interested in agriculture. Consumers now appreciate the connection between the quality of food on their table and agriculture,” Gregorio said.

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