The Department of Agriculture (DA) and private agriculture-based company FarmFresh Products, Inc. officially launched the instant pinakbet and chop suey under the latter’s Adopt-A-Town, Adopt-A-Farmer Program on October 13, at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall in Quezon City.
The said program aims to help enhance food mobilization nationwide by tapping local farmers as suppliers of fresh produce and then linking them to restaurants and other institutional buyers.
“Ang farmers natin, kapag dry season, over ang supply. Kaya minsan nakikita natin sa media, tinatapon ang kamatis, tinatapon ang kalabasa. Hindi na mangyayari ‘yan dahil ipa-process natin [ang kanilang harvests] all year round. During the wet season, mayroon tayong stocks sapagkat naka-blast freeze lahat ang gulay natin. FarmFresh na ang magfi-finance at bibili sa farmers natin,” said FarmFresh President and former Candaba, Pampanga Mayor Jerry Pelayo.
The Adopt-A-Town, Adopt-A-Farmer Program was also designed to help combat malnutrition by producing healthy, affordable meals without any preservatives or additives.
A pack of viand is good for five people. After being put in hot water for about eight minutes, the instant food can be eaten.
“In this day and age, and with the fast-paced way of living of people especially in the urban areas, convenience is indeed becoming a trend. Moreover, the launching of these products is one way of addressing the oversupply of vegetables. This nutritious food package aims to be available all year round, readily accessible, and priced at an affordable rate. This is such a great opportunity to showcase the collaborations of the public and private sector for the benefit of the Filipino people,” DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said.
The collaborative project between DA and FarmFresh is also aligned with the food security programs of various government agencies, namely: the Supplementary Feeding Program and Disaster Response and Management Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); the School-Based Feeding Program of the Department of Education (DepEd); the Feeding Program of 50,000 Inmates of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor); and the Disaster Relief Operations of the Department of National Defense (DND).
Reiterating that food security is a top priority under the leadership of President and Agriculture Secretary Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo, Jr. stressed the importance of a whole-of-nation approach not only to ensure that food is present in every home, but also to protect local farmers, fisherfolk, and marginalized sectors.
“It is crucial that we explore collaborative partnerships between the government agencies and the private sector to pave the way for innovative solutions. Unlocking our collective potential by leveraging our respective strengths and expertise is key to achieving positive and sustainable outcomes,” he expressed.
DA Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel de Mesa, DA Regional Field Office VI Executive Director Dennis Arpia, former DA Secretary William Dar, Atok (Benguet) Mayor Franklin Smith
Hermosa (Bataan) Mayor Antonio Joseph Inton, FarmFresh co-founder Raphael Pelayo, farmer-beneficiaries of the Adopt-A-Town, Adopt-A-Farmer program, and representatives from government agencies and the private sector. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)