Marikina City to host first farm-to-consumer food hub

Gabriell Christel Galang - Philstar.com
Marikina City to host first farm-to-consumer food hub
In this photo posted on Facebook on June 4 2024 shows staff collecting samples from the BPI Kadiwa Center on May 31, 2024.
Facebook / Bureau of Plant Industry

MANILA, Philippines — Marikina City is set to host the Department of Agriculture's (DA) first food hub, allowing farmers and cooperatives to deliver their produce directly and conduct transactions with wholesale buyers and individual consumers.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel Jr. said that the agency is building the hub close to the existing food distribution center to facilitate a more seamless access for suppliers and buyers.

The DA has also planned on blending traditional food terminals with KADIWA centers to ensure affordability and accessibility to Filipinos.

The KADIWA stores were established by the DA as a farm-to-consumer market chain, which allow the low-income buyers to purchase commodities without the need for middlemen.

“These hubs will serve as vital platforms where farmers and cooperatives can directly bring their produce, facilitating transactions with wholesale buyers and individual consumers alike, all while offering agricultural products at competitive prices,“ the agri chief said.

Laurel emphasized the need to address the lack of food terminals in the country. According to him, the food hub plan will then be part of the DA’s logistics roadmap.

“[Our] broader logistics roadmap is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of agricultural supply chains, ensuring sufficient supply of vital agricultural products at affordable prices, especially in areas where demand is high,” the DA said.

The agri chief said that the agency has already negotiated for either a joint venture or a long-term lease on a one-hectare property in BFCT Bagsakan Center near Marikina river.

"While the management of these food hubs will fall under the purview of Food Terminals Inc. (FTI), a KADIWA component will be integrated into their operations," he said.

This development project will take around 12 months to complete the necessary facilities like cold storage and dry warehouses, which are vital for preserving the agricultural commodities.

“The overarching goal of the initiative is to help farmers and cooperatives increase their income while concurrently providing consumers, especially those in urban centers, with access to affordable agricultural products,” Laurel said.

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