Vegetable farmers in Talakag, Bukidnon have finalized a marketing deal with a chain of organic vegetable outlets in Metro Manila and Luzon for a 16-ton weekly supply of assorted organic vegetables. This was disclosed by Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chair Emmanuel Piñol after a meeting last Saturday, April 24 held at Miarayon in Talakag town.
Present during the meeting which was facilitated by MinDA were Renato “Atong” dela Cruz, a director of the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and his wife representing the buyers, a representative from a Taiwanese seed company and the farmers led by Talaandig tribal leader and young farmer Ryan Danio. In his Facebook post, Secretary Piñol highlighted the agreements resulting from the meeting as follows:
- The Metro Manila Organic Vegetable buyers represented by Renato “Atong” dela Cruz will buy assorted vegetables which will be itemized according to the volume of each item with an initial order of 16-tons weekly at agreed prices higher than the prevailing buying price;
- The vegetables will be packed at farm gate and picked up by a reefer van which will be towed by a tractor head to the Cagayan de Oro City port for an overnight boat ride to Luzon;
- Atong’s group will supply the organic inputs needed by the farmers, including seeds of vegetables specified by the buyers, the cost of which will be deducted after harvest;
- The farmers’ group agreed to farm out the needed volume to as many farmers so that many will benefit from the program and schedule the planting and harvesting to be able to sustain the supply requirements;
- The farmers agreed to apply for Organic Vegetable Accreditation with an acknolwedged accreditation body, the Control Union, and abide by all protocols sete for organic vegetable farming;
- The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) agreed to assist the farmers’ group in accessing an initial revolving production fund of about P2-M from either government financing institutions or credit cooperatives;
- The first delivery of the vegetables will start June this year.