San Miguel Corp (SMC), the Philippines’ largest corporation, and the Department of Agriculture have expanded the network of “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” rolling farmers’ stores at Petron gas stations in Metro Manila, a further boost to the agricultural industry reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, while providing consumers easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables straight from local farms.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that its partnership with the DA, covering the Kadiwa stores as well as the purchase of major raw materials for food production, has benefited farmers suffering from loss of critical markets and income following the necessary imposition of the various stages of community quarantines.
“We‘ve heard some reports of farmers who had difficulty shipping their produce or worse, were left with no choice but to let their produce rot or spoil, or were forced to sell at below market prices,” said Ang. “Farmers are the backbone of our food supply chain and are essential to our food security, that is why from the very start, we tried to think of programs to help them even more,” he added.
The new Kadiwa stores are located at the following Petron gas stations: Bel-Air Gil Puyat corner Makati Avenue; Edsa-Sierra Madre; Dasmarinas, Edsa; Katipunan Avenue (La Vista), Quezon City; Shaw Boulevard corner Wack Wack; C5-Diego Silang, Taguig; Edsa corner Main Avenue, Cubao; 188 E. Rodriguez Jr, Quezon City; Marcos Highway, Pasig; Connecticut, San Juan; Ninoy Aquino Avenue in Sucat, Paranaque; Doña Soledad Avenue, Better Living, Paranaque City, and; Dr. A Santos Avenue, Sucat Road, Paranaque City.
“Although we are glad to see more traditional markets opening up and catering to more people, there is still a need for the Kadiwa stores, especially for those who live nearby looking for a convenient way to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Anytime they stop by to fill up on fuel, or even if they’re just walking from home, we hope they will buy fresh produce to help our local farmers,” he said.
Apart from the “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” rolling store program, SMC has also utilized the DA’s network of farmer cooperatives to source agricultural inputs like corn and cassava for its various food products.
Through its long-term agreement with the DA, SMC has purchased 69 million kilos of corn from local farmers with payments released promptly.
It has recently sourced 92,000 kilos of corn from farmer-cooperatives in Central Luzon and Pangasinan and 50,000 kilos of corn from Camarines Sur. The Maymatan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Camarines Sur will provide another 100,000 kilos of corn during the period of May 26 to June 15.