The Locally Sourced Trade Fair at Robinsons Bacolod, and the first Negros Occidental Cooperative Trade Fair in Panaad Park and Stadium in Barangay Mansilingan featured agricultural products grown by local farmers in the province, including farmers’ associations (FAs) from the Department of Agriculture – Special Are for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program-covered areas for this year’s MassKara Festival of Bacolod.
The 10 FAs featured in the trade fairs from October 10-15, 2022, aimed to expand their marketing opportunities by actively partaking in platforms and events of the same nature.
Showcased fresh and value-added products include native chickens, powdered ginger tea, banana chips, corn grits, vermicast, and high-value crops such as eggplant, ampalaya, and cucumber. The weeklong combined sales of 10 groups amounted to Php 59,542 (Table 1).
Apart from the profit, the joint consolidated farmers’ market likewise provided SAAD FAs links with prospective clients and a venue for product promotion in an organic setting where traders and institutional buyers converged to purchase goods.
Table 1. SAAD FAs Sales Report from 1st Negros Occidental Cooperative Trade Fair and Locally Sourced Trade Fair
|FA||SAAD Project Intervention||Products
|KPMUFA||FY 2021 Banana Production Project
|Banana (Lakatan)||30 kilograms (kg)||60.00||1,800.00|
|HUFBA||FY 2020 Native Chicken Production Project
|Native chicken (live)||38 heads||280.00||10,640.00|
|SAMFA||FY 2021 Vegetable Production Project
|PIUSFA||FY 2020 Conventional Vegetable Production
FY 2021 Ginger Production – In Support to FY 2020 Vegetable Production Project
Salabat – 100 grams
Salabat – 150 grams
|KKPFA||FY 2019 Native Chicken Production Project
|Native chicken (live)||16 heads||250.00-500.00||6,812.00|
|Barangay San Jose Agrarian Reform Farmers’ Association||FY 2022 Vegetable Production Project
|MTIFA||FY 2020 Corn Production Project
FY 2021 In Support Project to Corn Project
|BMIFA||FY 2020 Corn Production Project
FY 2021 In Support Project to Corn Production
|BOPARBFA||FY 2021 Chicken Layer Egg Production Project
|Chicken Layer Egg||4 trays||200.00-230.00||680.00|
|BISAKASDOIFA||FY 2022 In Support to FY 2021 Vegetable Production Project
One of the major components of SAAD, Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development, is to assist the beneficiaries to establish community agri-enterprises to address the lack of income sources and means. This component prepares and develops each association to create and participate in agricultural and entrepreneurial activities. Among the FAs with flourishing ginger enterprise in Negros Occidental is PIUSFA from the upland village of Pandanon.
Aside from trading fresh and pesticide-free produce, PIUSFA showcased their powdered ginger tea or salabat at the Panaad trade fair. The products with prices at Php 60 to Php 90 per pack were sold out after a weeklong display. Currently, they are planning to improve their labeling and packaging so they could trade their products to institutional buyers.
Mrs. Diana Ceralbo, the group’s business manager, shared that at least five local traders expressed interest to procure their goods such as banana chips and salabat to be exported to Metro Manila and other neighboring cities and provinces.
“Sa isa ka semana nga nag display kag nag baligya kami diri sa syudad sang Bacolod, madamo ang nabakal sa amon produkto kag na ubos guid tanan. Best seller ang amon salabat kag may mga buyers nga nagtanyag sang ila willingness nga magbakal sang amon produkto, especially ang luy-a, kag ila man ini kuno pagadal-on sa Manila kag sa iban pa nga probinsya,” said Mrs. Ceralbo.
(For a week that we displayed and traded here in Bacolod City, a lot of our products had been bought and sold out. Our best seller is the salabat, as some buyers expressed their willingness to buy ginger produce from us which they plan to sell in Manila and other provinces.)
Mrs. Ceralbo expressed her gratitude to the program for empowering their association, from providing agricultural inputs, capability enhancement and technical training to opening platforms to expand their market opportunities.
“Madamo guid nga salamat sa programa nga SAAD sang Department of Agriculture kay dako guid ang nabulig sini sa amon pangabuhi sa Pandanon. Kami ang naga-pasalamat sing madamo sa tanan nga kabahin sang SAAD,” said Mrs. Ceralbo.
(Thank you very much to the SAAD Program of the Department of Agriculture for it has greatly helped our livelihood here in Pandanon. We are very thankful to all who have been part of SAAD).
HUFBA President Mr. Arnel Priolo, for his part, recognized the joint trade fairs as a “golden opportunity” for them as poultry raisers to connect with direct buyers.
“Isa guid ka dako nga oportunidad ang maka-intra kag maka-display sang amon produkto sa trade fair kay kami makakita guid sang mga direct buyers nga willing magbakal sa insakto nga presyo,” said Mr. Priolo.
(Being able to join and display during the trade fairs are a big opportunity for us because we were able to connect with direct buyers who are willing to purchase at a good price.)
To note, Priolo’s group sold 38 head of native chicken reared at their communal farm in Barangay Hilub-ang and generated a total sales of Php 10,640. Aside from trading live native chicken, he said that they are currently venturing into meat processing by making value-added products such as native chicken siomai, embutido and sisig.
Forging Market Linkages Through Agri Trade Fairs
Smallholder rural farmers in the far-flung areas face various challenges from transporting their produce to nearby communities to finding direct market linkages. Thus, the SAAD Program partnered with the Negros Occidental Provincial Government and Bacolod City Government to provide farmers with a real-time and interactive environment to promote formation and growth of market segments of recipient-associations in exchanging of goods, sharing of information, and promotion of products and organizations.
Mr. Patrick Sta. Romana, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer in Negros Occidental, said the joint trade fairs, which delivered a critical mass of farmers to one location, benefited both suppliers and SAAD farmers.
“The recent trade fairs participated by our SAAD beneficiaries here in Negros Occidental created opportunities for the equitable distribution of products, services and information that connect large and small-scale markets,” said Sta. Romana.
He also noted the importance of the continuous flow of goods and services of community-based enterprises (CBE) managed by SAAD FAs and co-supervised by the respective local government units in achieving the program’s core goal to help farmers win against poverty.
“SAAD farmer beneficiaries have been empowered with various agricultural production inputs and capacity enhancements, thus making them resilient and productive players in our local economy. With a variety of agricultural products, fresh and processed, the goal of the SAAD Program in contributing to poverty alleviation through agri-empowerment among our beneficiaries is being realized,” Mr. Sta. Romana said. ###
Writer: Christ John Gamarcha, DA-SAAD Region 6 Information Officer