FARM TO MARKET. The Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon Province facilitates the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng Barangay Bilucao Inc. in Pitogo, Quezon, and Elsa Luz, a private wholesale buyer, and trader from the Gumaca public market. DAR is targeting to connect farmers' organizations to the private sector for direct partnerships. (Photo courtesy of DAR) 

MANILA – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) helped connect a farmers' cooperative to a direct private wholesale buyer in Quezon Province.

DAR-Quezon Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Cornelio Villapando said a memorandum of agreement (MOA) valid for one year was recently signed between the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng Barangay Bilucao Inc. (SNMBI) in Pitogo, Quezon, and Elsa Luz, a private wholesale buyer, and trader from the Gumaca public market.

“Based on the agreement, the SNMBI will supply Luz with vegetables and other crops, which include banana, papaya, and corn,” Villapando said.

He added that directly connecting the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to the buyers ensures them a steady market for their products.

Villapando said this will also ensure the ARBs have a command of fair and just prices for their commodities.

“This partnership provides an assured market for the ARBs' products and opens opportunities to further expose their products to other target buyers,” he added.

Meanwhile, DAR Quezon Marketing Assistance point person Lilia Ogayon said the project aims to increase the income of the ARBs while helping strengthen the government's war against hunger as the country is still experiencing a crisis brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“The current project is expected to cover five hectares of plantations, involving a total of 30 farmer-beneficiaries, who attended a Farm Business School (FBS) training from the DAR,” Ogayon said.

Earlier, the DAR Quezon II also linked other groups of ARBs to a similar project that includes the Sumagonsong Farmers' Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Mulanay, Quezon which is supplying agricultural products to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the Gumaca District Jail; and the San Nicolas Farmers Group of General Luna supplying their products to Quezon and Catanauan Municipal Jail.

DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III said involving the private sector to partner with the DAR is aligned with the national goal of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of improving the farmers' lives. (PNA)