A locally-developed Farm Konek project has partnered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) in an effort to develop the Smart City approach in the marketing of locally-produced agricultural products.
John Vincent Gastanes, Project director of Project Zacchaeus Marketing Cooperative (PZMC) said that they had a partnership with the DA-Mimaropa for their community-based enterprise called Farm Konek that focuses in inventory management and technical support for clustered farmers in Puerto Princesa City.
“We will assist the (DA) Region in developing the SMART CITY approach in agriculture and marketing (of agricultural products) for Palawan,” Gastanes said.
As defined, a smart city uses information and communication technology (ICT) to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public and provide a better quality of government service and citizen welfare.
The main goal of a smart city is to optimize city functions and promote economic growth while also improving the quality of life for citizens by using smart technologies and data analysis.
DA Regional Executive Director Antonio Gerundio said their agency has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) ON July 27, 2021, with Project Zacchaeus Marketing Cooperative (PZMC) for the Online Kadiwa Marketing in Palawan. PZMC developed various e-commerce channels such as Farm Konek, PZC Community Stores, and Go Palengke.
Gerundio said that the project intends to support the local farmers specifically in the marketing of their products through Online Kadiwa. Kadiwa is a market system that sells agricultural goods at affordable prices to help poor families in the country.
He explained that with its partnership with PZMC, they can establish strategic distribution points or marketing centers within the city and in Palawan, therefore, assisting a substantial number of farmers especially in the marketing of their products.
Farm Konek will focus on buying agricultural products from DA-assisted farmer’s associations and cooperatives, which the PZMC will help digitalize the inventory management.
Gerundio explained that the PZMC will serve as a consolidator of the harvests. These will be marketed through different digital marketing in various platforms.
The DA-Mimaropa under its Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita will extend technical support, materials, and assistance to farmers’ or fisherfolk’ associations and cooperatives. One of which is the construction of storage facilities and provision of equipment for farm products in strategic areas operated by farmer’s cooperatives.
In Puerto Princesa City, the City Agriculture’s Office said that they implemented the Enhanced Agricultural Productivity Project to support local farmers, an improved scheme to upscale the city’s agriculture in a bid to boost food production in pilot barangays. The project has identified the barangays of Bacungan, Sta. Cruz, Manalo and Salvacion. Since then, it has expanded to other barangays with evident potentials. The City Agriculture’s Office said that tried an innovative approach through piloting of barangays to attain tangible results in agriculture.
PZMC targets to expand its operations outside the region since they plan to capture clients from Manila and also from international market.