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The Cordillera Peoples Alliance calls for urgent and concrete support for our food producers...

March 31, 2020

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance calls for urgent and concrete support for our food producers, our vegetable farmers in the region who are widely affected by the imposition of lockdowns due to COVID-19 and the long-standing problem of trade liberalization in agriculture.

At present, we have been receiving reports and testimonies from vegetable producing communities, our "gardineros" and vendors, that the prices of highland vegetables have been very low that bringing them to the market will only yield negative profits.

Some vegetable farmers also lament the difficulties in bringing their produce to trading posts because of the possibility of checkpoints that will block their way, despite assurances from the government that food products can freely move to reach the market and consumers.

We urge our government officials for concrete action and support for our food-producing farmers in light of the health and economic crisis we all face.

  1. For the government to facilitate and ensure the hauling or transporting of vegetables and other farm products from the villages to the urban areas, in a manner that will not compromise the health of communities.
  2. The national government and LGUs can buy the products directly from the farmers which they will distribute as relief to all residents amid the health crisis.
  3. Prioritize the rendering of free mass testing and health assistance for our farmers, elderly, children, indigenous peasants and other vulnerable sectors.
  4. Subsidy for farmers so they can continue their vegetable production including free farm inputs such as seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and technical assistance.
  5. Immediate economic support and relief for market vendors - rent payments, financial assistance and food aid.

In this very critical period for our people, the government must continue to ensure food security for all families especially the poor and most vulnerable. It must act now to ensure that no food is wasted and no farmer will be forced to bankrupcy and hunger. The government should be the first to step up and help them.

By helping our farmers cope with the problems they face in selling their produce, we can also help alleviate the hunger and health risks that our predominantly poor population are experiencing. It is also necessary for the government to act swiftly and decisively to ensure that no one will be left hungry.

Support our vegetable farmers! Food aid for the poor now!

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