POLA, Oriental Mindoro–The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan (MiMaRoPa) region recently launched the KaSaMa (Katuwang sa Market) para sa Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs): An Inter-Agency Unified Marketing Platform.
The KaSaMa project is a marketing strategy designed to provide more opportunities for farmer-beneficiaries organizations or cooperatives in MiMaRoPa region to have a greater value in the market chain by collaborating with different stakeholders and institutional buyers.
DAR Regional Director Marvin Bernal said the KaSaMa project came about during the height of the pandemic when restrictions on local transport of farmers’ produce became a major concern.
“There was an increase in post-harvest losses on rice, vegetables, and other major crops of about 10-30 percent. Most of the farmers have low access to timely and accurate information on market demands. In effect, depending on the need of the market, the supply side was not being maximized,” Bernal said.
Bernal said the project is intended to improve the lives of farmer beneficiaries through increased income, ensured market, and the right pricing for their products.
The MiMaRoPa region has a total of 288 agrarian cooperatives with 27,836 ARBs. Out of the total cooperatives, only 56 have marketing arrangements with institutional buyers.
“With these data, efforts in market accessibility are our utmost priority to make the farmers’ lives better,” Bernal said.
For its pilot implementation, 58 agrarian cooperatives with more than 6,000 members will be reached by the project.
Currently, the DAR is maximizing the social media platform in promoting farmers’ produce and products specifically in the DAR Facebook pages, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. The project will improve the existing system in terms of easy access or on-hand information on the market information thru the website. Also, the convergence initiative will then be strengthened because this will provide a “one-stop” website where farmers can easily access all the marketing platforms.
“This project will revitalize the convergence initiatives of the government using the mechanism of the whole-of-the-nation approach. With the collaboration of different stakeholders, a wider market can be reached for the benefit of the farmers,” Bernal said.
KaSaMa is a collaborative project of DAR, the Department of Agriculture (DA), Mindoro State University (MinSU), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of MiMaRoPa. It was created to help ARBs sell their farm products through online marketing platforms.