EconomyEditor's PickBill seeks to establish state-backed agri retail stores in every town

November 9, 2022

A LAWMAKER has filed a bill that seeks to establish a Kadiwa Center in every city and municipality to provide a venue for cheaper agricultural produce by directly linking consumers to farmers and fisherfolk. 

“Amid the rising prices of food, the scaling up of innovative solutions cannot be overemphasized. One of the successful initiatives is the establishment of Kadiwa centers to make food products affordable,” Agri Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee said in a statement on Wednesday, noting that rising inflation has burdened both consumers and local producers. 

The Department of Agriculture (DA) rolled out the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program during the coronavirus pandemic, with temporary market sites set up where producers could bring their goods and consumers could directly buy in retail. 

House Bill 3957 seeks to institutionalize the program by creating a nationwide system of agricultural and fisheries food terminals. 

“Let’s think about the benefits and services (by placing) Kadiwa Agri-food terminals in each city and municipality,” Mr. Lee said. “We’ll be able to guarantee an increase to the income of farmers and fishermen and ease the burden on consumers.” 

Under the proposed measure, the DA, with the assistance of local government units, is mandated to establish and manage the Kadiwa centers. 

The bill states that P25 billion will be appropriated to the DA for the initial year of implementation.— Matthew Carl L. Montecillo

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