BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The Department of Agriculture will grant financial assistance to qualified farmer and fisherfolk cooperatives and community-based organizations to ensure the supply of food in high consumer demand areas.
DA 6 regional director, Remelyn Recoter, said yesterday that the “Enhanced Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Inclusive Food Supply Chain Program” aims to strengthen the partnership between the private sector and the farmer and fisherfolk groups through harnessing their participation in the food supply distribution system.
The assistance covers financial grants for capacity enhancement of the associations on value-adding activities in the food supply chain, which includes the procurement of agricultural produce, aggregation, initial processing, packaging, transport, and distribution of agri-fishery commodities, she said.
For community-based organizations, the program covers the operation and management of Kadiwa retail markets or stores, Recoter said.
She added that the target organizations are those that participated or interested in participating in the DA’s Enhanced Kadiwa program.
The financial grant is classified into Grants for Packaging Facilities (Type A), Grants for Consolidation (Type ????, and Grants for Kadiwa retailing (Type C), she said.
The Type A grant aims to finance value-adding activities as assemblers of farmers’ produce, such as the procurement of produce, aggregation, and processing, she said, adding that eligible groups will receive from P200,000 to P1 million in assistance that can be used as seed funds or to purchase facilities, machines, or equipment.
The Type B grant is to finance value-adding activities as consolidators and distributors of farmers’ produce to consumer markets, such as assembly, storage, transport, delivery of produce/products to distribution centers, or buyers, she said, adding that associations can get P500,000 up to P5 million in assistance.
The grant can be used to purchase a delivery vehicle, machines or equipment, and/or construction or rehabilitation of storage facilities, she added.
The Type C grant is for community-based organizations as it aims to finance the start-up cost requirements for operating and maintaining Kadiwa retail markets or retail stores, she said.
The amount to be granted ranges from P50,000 up to P150,000, she said, adding that the assistance can be used in the procurement of storage facilities or equipment.
Recoter said the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division is currently evaluating 24 applicants for the grants.
Other interested applicants can submit a Letter of Intent to Recoter, or contact (033) 337-1227.*