Reviving the Kadiwa market system can help rein in runaway prices of basic goods and commodities and help farmers get the best prices for their produce, according to Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.
In the 1970s, Marcos said on Tuesday, Kadiwa outlets primarily catered to depressed areas, selling staple food items and groceries at markedly reduced prices to ease living costs for poor households.
According to the governor, the revival of Kadiwa, which supposedly was successfully implemented during the time of her father, then-President Ferdinand Marcos, will strengthen the agricultural sector in the country.
That strengthening of the sector through the revival of the Kadiwa market system “should be one of the top programs of the government to help poor families, especially those below the poverty threshold to cope with the rising prices of commodities,” she said.
Spearheaded by then-First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, the market system also became a venue where goods were made available at farmgate prices.
“It [Kadiwa] enabled the public to buy goods at cheaper rates and the farmers to sell their crops without having to worry about transportation costs and eliminate the middlemen who jack up prices for profits,” the governor said.
“We need to institute reforms in the food supply chain to address the problem of rising prices of basic commodities. At the same time, we can bolster our farm sector with the Kadiwa outlets firmly in place [where]consumers buy farm produce at farmgate prices,” Marcos added.
Noting the need to stabilize prices of basic goods, the governor urged the government to buy the goods when there is oversupply and sell them at reasonable prices when stocks run low.
She said the government should do away with the “poor importation scheme” of the National Food Authority.
The governor cited the need to save the “dying” agricultural sector in the country in the face of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) integration.
With the Asean integration, Marcos said, the import limit will be removed, which will have a negative impact on farmers with only importers and traders getting all the benefits.