The local government of Calbiga in Samar is buying local harvests to boost its food supply amid the global health emergency.
“Available food sources during this period is important. Instead of transporting our agricultural products to other areas, let us serve these to our local households,” Evelyn Jabonete, municipal nutrition action officer, said in a statement on Monday.
Farm products purchased by the local government include string beans, bottle gourd, eggplant, bitter gourd, banana, sweet potato, cassava, corn, sweet pepper, gabi, pineapple, loofah, baguio beans, tomato, okra, hot pepper, ginger, and papaya.
“This will give variation to the canned goods commonly provided during relief operations,” Jabonete said, adding that farmers were given exemptions during the heightened community quarantine for food security.
The agricultural products were bought from five farmers associations assisted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
They already have combined earnings of PHP288,000 from April 3 to 17, Celsa Mabutin, Samar provincial agrarian reform program officer, said.
“With the temporary suspension of flea markets, the local government buys and picks up all the harvests of farmers organizations in their respective areas,” she said.
These groups are the Calbiga Vegetable Growers Association and the farmers associations in Panayuran, Bulao Canbagtic, and Borong villages.
Mabutin said these farmers used to supply vegetables and other farm products for the town’s feeding program in daycare centers.
Meanwhile, the town remains free of the highly contagious coronavirus disease 2019, according to the Department of Health.
Calbiga, a coastal town in Samar province, has a population of over 22,000. It is about 63 kilometers north of Tacloban City, the capital of Eastern Visayas. (PNA)