“As long as farmers continue to plant and grow vegetables, root crops and fruit trees there will be no hunger, ‘wala gutom kun mapisan ikaw magpananom’ said, Federico Tabanda “Tay Pedring” chairman of Leon Food Terminal.
The food terminal located at the back of Leon Municipal Hall is the center of trade and marketing activities of farmers from the different upland barangays of Leon and neighboring municipalities of the second district of Iloilo.
Upland products like banana (saba, mundo, lakatan, tundal and senyorita), ripe or green mangoes, avocados and melons coming from the local farmers were abundant since the start of the year.
While raddish, cucumber, cauliflower, carrots, eggplant, cabbage, chayote, lettuce and tomatoes continue to arrive everyday from barangay Bucari also known as “little Baguio”. said Tay Pedring.
“Buyers from Miagao, Iloilo, Iloilo City and provinces of Capiz, Antique and Aklan went here during market days before the COVID19 pandemic lockdown happened. Now even local buyers and townfolks rarely entered the food terminal”, he added.
On the other hand , the Department of Agriculture Western Visayas, Agribusiness Marketing and Assistance Division (AMAD) chief, Maria Teresa Solis said that the provision of food lane passes and the KADIWA on wheels are initial initiatives to address the primary concerns of the farmers in marketing their produce in these trying times.
Delivery of Fishery and Agri-products with proper permits and accreditation will not be hampered on check points.
Precautionary measures like social/physical distancing, using gloves and mask protection must be observed when marketing fresh produce, she explained.
Meanwhile, Lorna Cabana Imbotin, a vegetable vendor who sells batuan, string beans, cabbage, baguio beans and spices, was dismayed of waiting for her buyers from Miagao and Roxas City, Capiz due to Enhanced Community Quarantine check points.
According to Imbotin, eight sacks of baguio beans were damaged causing her to lose more than half of her regular income.
Now with the DA- KADIWA on wheels, farmers and upland vegetable growers are grateful for the support extended by DA , they can market their produce as scheduled .
The best contribution of farmers today in this existing condition is an increase production of the staple food crops. We can supply volume of our producs in the city of Iloilo, she also cited.
KADIWA market on wheels started early today in Arevalo, and Iloilo City proper, and will resume on thursday and saturday at Lapaz, Mandurriao and other districts of the city. (JNCapaciete/RAFIS 6 Photos by Lourdes Ganson)