Farmers need your help.
Many farmers have had no choice but to leave tons of their harvest to rot during the pandemic. Strict quarantine restrictions and limited public transportation have kept farmers from bringing their produce to markets. Some have even found themselves pleading with social enterprises to purchase their produce in bulk, in hopes that their crops will not go to waste.
Due to the disruption of the normal trading process, the Department of Agriculture has urged consumers to buy directly from local farmers. A number of online initiatives have responded to the call to help farmers.
Check out the following initiatives to help support local farmers during the pandemic:
Rural Rising Philippines is a social enterprise that endorses the “rescue buying” of agricultural products. This entails buying produce from distressed farmers who have no buyers.
The social enterprise is currently leading a kalabasa (squash) rescue buy on their Facebook page. The squash are crops of farmers in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, who have been struggling to sell and transport their harvest due to the pandemic.
Rural Rising Philippines recounted how they came across the squash harvest when a farmer named Johnny Maddawat pleaded with the social enterprise to buy his harvest. After making arrangements to backload his squash on a friend’s truck, other hopeful farmers started lining up piles of squash along the side of the road in hopes of also selling their own harvest.
This has pushed Rural Rising Philippines to purchase Maddawat and his neighbors’ squash. The social enterprise hopes to sell these through a “rescue buy,” which will allow customers to get as much squash as they want for only P499.
Those interested to buy pumpkins through Rural Rising Philippines’ rescue buy can find details below:
Rural Rising also holds “snap buys,” wherein they place a bulk amount of harvest on sale for a special price. You can participate in “rescue buys” and “snap buys” on their Facebook page.
Additionally, interested buyers can purchase fresh vegetables from their physical location at 72 Maayusin Street, UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City.
Farmer-Community Assistance Program (FCAP) is a social enterprise initiated by several students from the University of the Philippines Diliman.
Inspired by their experience in a local student council project that immersed them in farming communities, FCAP’s founders decided to establish the enterprise to help ease the plight of farmers during the pandemic.
Through their enterprise, FCAP seeks to aid the livelihood of rice farmers in Libmanan, Camarines Sur, by selling their rice in Metro Manila.
The group is so far selling premium organic brown, black, and red rice sourced directly from farmers in Camarines Sur through their social media accounts.
Sadiwa is a women-led initiative that promotes and sells agricultural products such as fresh fruits, coffee beans, and homemade jams from the Cordillera region.
The initiative started out as a one-time vegetable donation drive. The money was used to purchase several Cordillera farmers’ excess produce, which was then donated to Feed PH, a nonprofit that provides meals to frontliners. After transporting their first batch of berries, the founders of Sadiwa soon decided to continue the initiative to make a sustainable link between Cordillera and the metro.
Because Sadiwa directly sources its products, Cordillera farmers get the maximum earnings from their harvest.
Orders are taken every Monday and confirmed in 2 to 3 days. They are processed in one to two weeks, and then dispatched to Metro Manila customers on Fridays. Within this time frame, Sadiwa works directly with the farmers themselves, matching the quantity of orders with the farmers' yield for the week.
Sadiwa takes orders 4 times a month, with no minimum order per batch.
Hailing from Bulacan, farmers group Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas is bringing their crops to customers from Metro Manila through the Facebook page online Bagsakan Farmers Market.
This is their way of ensuring buyers for their produce despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The group is so far only accepting orders once a month.
Aside from their monthly online order forms, Bagsakan Farmers Market also sells their produce in physical locations, such as Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City. Part of the proceeds go to Sagip Kanayunan, which helps farming families in Bulacan.
As of August 24, they have sold over 13,000 kilograms of agricultural produce.
Stay updated when their next online order form opens by checking out their Facebook page. Once the page posts an announcement about their order form, customers are given approximately 5 days to place their orders. People can have their orders delivered two days after cutoff or opt to pick them up.
Veggies for Good came about when its founder Aison Garcia, acting on impulse, bought 5 jeepney loads of local produce from Dumagat farmers after hearing their story of having to walk for 6 hours just to sell their harvest.
Garcia ended up buying nearly two tons of gabi (taro), cassava, luya (ginger), camote (sweet potato), and niyog (coconut); and nearly a hundred kilos of guyabano. The crops were brought to Marikina and sold in 10 days, after Garcia set up Veggies for Good.
Now, Veggies for Good has grown into a full-fledged social enterprise that continues to empower its partner farmers through fair pricing and a sustainable work.
You can order fresh fruits, vegetables, and even seafood from them by clicking the “Shop Now” button on their Facebook page. They accept orders on Tuesdays and Fridays, and deliver them the next day.
Aside from enterprises that allow you to directly purchase farmers’ agricultural products, you can also help farmers by donating to organizations and initiatives that support them. The following are some initiatives seeking donations to help farmers:
Project Pesante is not a typical initiative, as it rallies support for farmers through the works of local artists and cultural workers.
Through various initiatives, such as online cultural nights, gigs, and advocacy campaigns, the group raises donations for the peasant community in Bicol. As of April 18, Project Pesante has successfully raised P105,651.23 for local farmers. These donations have been used for “mobile hot meals,” a feeding program on wheels, transported by local jeepney drivers.
Interested donors may send their donations to any of Project Pesante’s listed accounts:
Bayanihan Para Sa Magsasaka is a youth-led initiative that partners with different organizations in order to gather donations for rice farmers in Tarlac, Pangasinan, and Misamis Oriental.
One of their biggest projects is Sponsor A Farmer, wherein they accept any amount of cash for their beneficiaries, who are chosen in coordination with the mayor’s office or the local agriculturist in the area.
These donations will allow eash farmer to receive a grocery pack, one-year life insurance, one-month bill subsidy, and 5 hermetic technology bags.
As of Wednesday, September 30, Bayanihan Para Sa Magsasaka has assisted to 4,575 farmers. This number continues to grow as the initiative’s goal is to expand the operation to 5 provinces by the end of 2020.
Cash donations can be made through any of Bayanihan Para Sa Magsasaka’s accounts:
– with reports from Bea Sancio/Rappler.com