Filipino social enterprises help farmers sell fresh produce amid quarantine

Filipino social enterprises sell fresh produce
Social enterprises Rural Rising Ph and RiceUp Farmers are helping Filipino farmers sell fresh produce to consumers amid limited public transportation and quarantine measures. Photos from Rural Rising and RiceUp Farmers.

Filipino social enterprises are helping farmers get food to consumers amid the stricter community quarantine enforced earlier this week in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

Limited public transportation at this time of the general community quarantine has kept farmers in the provinces from bringing fresh produce to the markets. Many struggle to sell fruits and vegetables even at low cost to consumers.

The situation has provided an opportunity for Filipino agripreneur leaders to support the livelihood of farmers by selling fresh produce to buyers directly from farms at reasonable prices.

In Pampanga, tons of ripe tomatoes would have gone to waste if not for the social enterprise RiceUp Farmers which stepped in to find buyers on social media to aid tomato farmers.

RiceUp founder Elvin Jerome Laceda said that those who are interested may pre-order the tomatoes in bulk which will only cost PHP200 for a bundle of 10kg.

RiceUp Farmers will be delivering the tomatoes to major drop-off points in Quezon City, Ortigas and Makati on Friday, March 26.

 

Laceda also shared that his social enterprise RiceUp which aims to promote the equitable use of food resources continues to buy palay (rice grains in Filipino) from farmers at fair trade prices amid the nationwide quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Outstanding Filipinos in America Awardee has helped facilitate the purchase of farmers’ produce at fair prices in Pampanga and assisted in SM’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan program.

Meanwhile, the cabbage produce of farmers in Cagayan Valley were saved from the same fate with the help of Rural Rising Philippines, a social enterprise dedicated to harnessing the potential of the countryside and fostering rural prosperity through agri-entrepreneurship.

The online civil group recounted how the farmer couple Jerry and Raquel Baltazar of Sto. Nino, Cagayan had 80 tons of cabbages of the rareball variety left to rot. Nobody was willing to buy them except middlemen who were offering a measly PHP5/kilo.

“Sasabihin namin sa kanila (middlemen) sa P20 sana pero hindi naman nila kukunin. Sasabihin pa nila sa mga kasamahan nila na limang piso ang presyo dito. Bakit sila ganun?” Jerry Baltazar told Ace Estrada, Rural Rising’s founder.

Rural Rising PH said on social media that the truck bearing 200 bags or 4 tons of cabbages has made it to Metro Manila. The group added that they will be coming back to get more cabbages and are now looking for 40 members to help the Cagayan farmers.

You can pitch in by paying only PHP502 for 20 kilos or PHP2,000 for 100 kilos of cabbages.

“We are hereby declaring the CABBAGE RESCUE BUY # 2 open! Cabbages shall arrive Wednesday, March 31, dispatch shall be on Thursday, April 1, 2021,” Rural Rising PH wrote.

You can save up on cabbages and help Cagayan’s farmers by ordering through the Rural Rising PH websiteRural Rising PH website.

The social enterprise has encouraged buyers of its fresh produce from local farmers to help donate crates of vegetables to help local jeepney drivers who have lost their source of livelihood amid the COVID 19 pandemic through their project Crate Hope.

Rural Rising PH earlier partnered with San Miguel Corporation for Better World UP, an agricultural hub and sustainable marketplace where farmers can sell their harvests at farm gate prices.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to local initiatives Rural Rising Ph and Rice Up Farmers who are helping farmers get food to consumers amid the quarantine to limit the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines.

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.