Author: DA-AFID | 3 February 2023
In line with the standing order of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to enhance government support packages that will improve the lives of Filipino farmers and fishers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is intensifying market linkages through contract farming with hotels, restaurants, and other institutional buyers on the procurement of surplus harvests.
The program will be in the form of relevant assistance and interventions seen to facilitate the transport of produce to areas where these are in demand, with zero to minimal wastage and supply excess of agricultural goods.   
A more efficient food mobilization strategy aimed at preventing oversupply of produce and loss of income for local farmers is among the main thrusts of the DA under the leadership of President Marcos, which will be realized through the distribution of delivery trucks and vegetable crates to more farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and municipalities under the agency’s Enhanced KADIWA Grant.
In 2022, the agriculture department listed ten municipalities as beneficiaries of the said grant.
The Marcos administration is committed to strengthening the entire agricultural value chain, which begins from the food growers and producers down to the consumers, in order to ensure stable local food supply and likewise stabilize food prices.
Reports on the dumping of some 500 kilos of small tomatoes, valued at P8.00 – P12.00 per kilo, from the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Trading (NVAT) on January 25, 2023 is being looked into by the DA.
Julio Basilan, Marketing Officer of NVAT, has explained that when the price of tomato ranges between the aforementioned value, it is but natural for buyers to prefer the larger-sized produce.
Meanwhile, the retail price of tomatoes in Metro Manila markets is between P25 to P60 per kilo as per the February 2, 2023 price monitoring report of the DA Surveillance, Monitoring, and Enforcement Group (SMEG). ### (Krystelle Ymari Vergara, DA-AFID)