Online platforms such as Facebook are being used for strategic marketing to further assist the farmers in the Cordillera in selling their produce amidst the enhanced community quarantine.
One of which is the Rural Rising Ph, a Facebook page used as a platform to link farmers and consumers.
Rural Rising Ph came into being accidentally, when an FB post of a vegetable dealer became viral with 6,000 shares. The viral post tackled the sad plight of Cordillera farmers who are forced to give or throw away their unsold produce.
Rural Rising Ph is managed by Ace Estrada and Andie Estrada of Baguio City. It now has 28,000 followers and a Facebook group of resellers and buyers with 3,000 members.
“DA has been very crucial to our mission not only in providing logistical support but also in identifying the farmers who are most deserving of our business because of their honesty and the fierce pride they take in their community and the quality of their produce,” Estrada said.
Rural Rising Ph was linked with the Cordillera farmers through the Kadiwa Express. Estrada said they coordinated with the DA-CAR as they wanted to be linked with local farmers. To date, they already made three transactions under the Kadiwa Express facilitated by the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division, recorded on May 16, 18, and 19.
On May 16, they bought 4,000 kilos of banana from Paracelis, Mountain Province. It was followed by marketing of 4,400 assorted vegetables from Tinoc, Ifugao such as squash, Chinese cabbage, and carrots, and 1,400 kilos of tomatoes.
Their third transaction was with the Eddet Farmers Indigenous and Peoples Association in Kabayan, Benguet where they bought 1,530 kilos of assorted vegetables.
The DA-CAR also facilitated the transport of agricultural products from pickup point to drop-off points, mostly in Manila.
Estrada said the farmers experienced difficulty in transporting their products because of the ECQ and buyers are unable to reach them, so they used the Facebook group as a marketing platform to reach out to both stakeholders.
He said they buy vegetables from distressed farmers and pay them the right or even higher price for their harvest.
“We truly believe that agriculture is the most vital way for our economy to recover faster, and by collectively contributing to food security and rural prosperity, we could make the most immediate and lasting impact,” he added.
Martina Tanawe, a tomato farmer from Eheb, Tinoc, Ifugao, said the direct buying of their vegetable produce has helped them earn during the crisis and provide for their needs.
She said they experienced difficulty in selling and transporting their produce to the extent of donating it to the local government units as relief, instead of throwing it.
“Dakkel launay ti naitulong na ti Rural Rising Ph ken DA tapnun mailakko met daytoy naburas nga kamatis, iti daytoy a panawen sapay kuma ta agtultuloy daytoy ken adu pay a mannalon ti matulungan,” she added.
Aside from buying from Cordillera farmers, Rural Rising Ph also reaches out to other farmers outside the region such as the squash farmers in Nueva Ecija.
To date, a total of 568.85 metric tons of assorted vegetables worth P17.14 million were already sold by linking 10 private groups and 10 LGUs under the Kadiwa Express. – DA-CAR