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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Apr 28, 2023

₱20 rice within arm’s reach

One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture (SDG2).

According to the United Nations, conflict, Covid-19, climate change, and growing inequalities are all threatening food security worldwide. Based on 2020 figures, about one in 10 people worldwide are suffering from hunger; nearly one in three people lack regular access to adequate food; and 149.2 million children under five years old suffer from stunting. Moreover, the high cost of food affected 47 percent of countries in 2020, which is up from 16 percent in 2019.

The UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge aims to help achieve this SDG. It calls for: zero stunted children under the age of two; 100 percent access to adequate food all year round; all food systems are sustainable; 100 percent increase in smallholder productivity and income; and zero loss or waste of food.

From the onset, ensuring access to affordable food is one of the priorities of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. Agriculture is a prime concern for the President, and rightfully so because it is imperative for our leaders to ensure our nation’s food security. The Covid-19 pandemic, the global events that have been affecting the prices of basic commodities, and our country’s vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change impacts all threaten our food security.

Earlier this year, at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, the President said that in attaining SDG2, it should be emphasized that the challenge of hunger and nutrition is different for various nations. Thus, among his administration’s priority interventions are those geared toward making food available, affordable, and accessible, amid the looming global food and energy shortage.

To promote food security and availability of affordable and nutritious food, and to empower small farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), President Bongbong has launched the Kadiwa centers.

The Kadiwa ng Pangulo, which was initially launched as Kadiwa ng Pasko in different parts of the country last November, is a project that seeks to address inflation by providing the public with affordable and high-quality products.

Products such as rice at ₱25 per kilo, fish, poultry and livestock, fruits and vegetables, and other basic commodities are made accessible and affordable to Filipinos, especially poor families.

As we can now see that having ₱25 per kilo of rice is possible, the goal of having ₱20 per kilo of rice is possible as well.

Kadiwa also provides a market to the country’s local agricultural producers, farmers, fisherfolks, and MSMEs selling basic necessities. In fact, Kadiwa total sales has reached more than ₱415 million, and has so far benefitted more than one million families and 26,000 farmers and fishermen.

The Kadiwa ng Pangulo is now helping solve one of the decades-old problems of farmers, fisherfolks, and local agricultural producers earning little despite their hard work.

There are already more than 300 Kadiwa centers in the country, and the President’s commitment is to establish more to help local producers earn a higher income by eliminating intermediaries and, at the same time, allow consumers to buy agricultural products and other goods at a lower price.

Moreover, the President’s long-term plan is to lower the prices of goods not just by expanding Kadiwa outlets across the country but also by making them affordable in local markets.

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