The Kadiwa program was conceived by the late President Ferdinand Marcos in 1973 as the government’s stop-gap measure to contain runaway inflation then as a result of the global oil crisis. It was successfully implemented by First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, then minister of human settlements.
Since the 70s, the term had become synonymous with the economic model of farmers and fishermen bypassing middlemen by selling directly to consumers through the government-run Kadiwa rolling stores. The producers of food benefit by getting higher farmgate prices for grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry and meat while the public benefits by having access to fresh produce at lower prices.
With inflation hovering at between 8.0 and 8.7 percent, the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos decided to revive Kadiwa on a grand scale, not just the usual Christmas-bazaar type caravans starting with the 2022 holidays.
According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), which is also headed by the President himself, the program has benefited 1.82 million households in the couple of months it has been in operation. This number, we presume, includes the producers (farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives and associations and community-based organizations) and customers who bought the goods. The department also said that overall, the Kadiwa program conducted 34,794 selling transactions, and generated ₱621 million in sales.
It is well to note that this unique but simple marketing and distribution scheme is done by Kadiwa through its retail selling outlets and online stores. The Kadiwa retail selling section is further broken down into three sub-categories – Kadiwa stores, Kadiwa pop-up stores, and Kadiwa on wheels. All these operate with the underlying principle of cutting down marketing costs by doing away with middlemen, thus farmers, fisherfolk and food producers can sell their products directly to the public. Records at the agriculture department show that there are currently 215 Kadiwa stores, 60 Kadiwa pop-up stores, and 23 Kadiwa on wheels nationwide.
Last March 8, the DA pushed Kadiwa to the next higher level by launching the Kadiwa ng Pangulo (KNP) Para sa Manggagawa at the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) compound in Quezon City. This branch of Kadiwa is specifically intended to serve the workers who have been toiling day and night to complete government and private-sector projects which are badly needed in the nation’s economic recovery.
In his short remarks at the KNP opening at TUCP last Wednesday, President Marcos said the Kadiwa project started last Christmas and when they realized that they were really making a difference in the market, the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry decided to extend its implementation to the rest of the year. Marcos assured that the government will not waver in helping farmers, fisherfolk, small businessmen and entrepreneurs especially those in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) so that they can continue with the productive work and participate in the national recovery effort of the nation.
Establishing more Kadiwa stores nationwide, as announced by the President, will benefit more consumers and producers of farm produce at a much bigger scale.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph