December 1, 2023

Siged Tiklis, a joint initiative of Pansigedan Advocacy Cooperative (PAC) and Tiklis Innovation of Sahei Core Technologies in partnership with selected organic farming practitioners, officially started business last June 8.

Siged tiklis, which translates to “the good basket,” is an innovative digital marketplace that offers a wide array of organic and sustainably-sourced goods such as vegetables, fruits, poultry products, and guilt-free snacks.

“Siged Tiklis is real-time. It transports the commodities from the producers to the customers without any intervening retailers,” said by Betty C. Listino, chairperson of the PAC board of directors.

One of the features of Siged Tiklis is its commitment in supporting local communities’ well-being and small-scale producers by partnering with organic farmers’ associations and youth-led social enterprises.

Listino said this is the first private sector-led initiative, in partnership with farmer cooperatives and associations.

Aside from the direct delivery feature, Siged Tiklis Project Leader May Crisline Gumihid said the platform also aims to empower consumers to make informed choices by disclosing details of the product’s origins, certifications, and sustainable supplier practices.

“Our partner groups are all certified so we guarantee that our goods are organic and these are farm-fresh since the farmers themselves consolidate the products,” said Rhea S. Loncio, PAC general manager.

Organic farming in Benguet has been a movement for quite some time now but only a few farmers shifted to organic farming due to the lack of a stable market and the volume of goods produced is not enough, said Mena Sukil-ap, a market officer of one of the partner associations.

According to Silvestre Kudan, a retired professor of Benguet State University and one of the pioneer advocates of organic agriculture, market is one of the challenges in organic farming.

He said unless farmers are organized, the volume would not be able to meet the demand. Thus, organic farmer associations are essential in fostering cooperation and strengthening market access since the farmers can consolidate their products.

The support towards organic and sustainably-sourced food is elevated by consolidating the products from partner organic farmers’ cooperative association into a single basket through Siged Tiklis.

“There are buyers, but the lingering question is related to access. This is what Tiklis intends to provide,” Listino added.

“We are really into the advocacy for our farmers and the vision of our company is to help in food security through digital technology,” Rember Maguinsay, chief executive officer of Sahei Core Technologies, said in support to the organic farmers.

The marketplace is currently anchored in the Facebook page of Siged Tiklis for customer orders while the development of the application, through the Tiklis Innovation of the Sahei Core Technologies, is underway.

Buyers may message the Siged Tiklis Facebook page to inquire and place orders. – Angel T. Bagtang S