The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has committed more funding to DELIVER-e application, a farmers-to-buyers digital platform recently launched in the Philippines.
In a Webinar on Monday, USAID Acting Mission Director for Philippines Patrick Wesner said his agency allocated an additional P20 million to expand DELIVER-e, which operates through an end-to-end e-commerce and logistics platform solution developed by Insight Supply Chain Solutions (InsightSCS).
This, according to him, will help farmers to be more productive through digital technologies and prepare everyone for the post-pandemic world
Utilizing blockchain technology, DELIVER-e system’s connects and integrates all related applications and e-commerce and logistics services from consolidation point (farmer suppliers and cooperatives/local consolidator warehouses) to central warehousing facility, and to last-mile delivery straight to clients (i.e.: individual buyers, concessionaires, supermarkets, local government/national government agencies).
Wesner said that since April, DELIVER-e has helped about 600 farmers from Luzon and some provinces in Mindanao to sell their goods to about 32,000 customers in Metro Manila.
Over 260 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables have also been mobilized and over US$149,000 worth of fresh produce have been transacted through the platform.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented effect on the lives of every Filipino. In the countryside, farmers and fishermen struggle to transport and sell their fresh products to key markets due to the quarantine,” USAID said.
“As a result, they are forced to just throw away their harvest without recovering their investment. The breakdown in the supply chain of fresh fruits and vegetables immediately posed a threat not only to farmers’ livelihood but also to the country’s food security,” it added.
This is the reason why at the height of the lockdown in March 2020, the USAID DELIVER Project closely collaborated with both the national government and private sector to help address the looming food supply chain gap in the country.
With the help of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Food Terminals, Inc. (FTI), farm organizations, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP), and (InsightSCS), a private logistics startup firm, USAID DELIVER Project co-developed the DELIVER-e digital platform linking local farmers to different markets in Metro Manila amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, DA and the DTI formally launched the DELIVER-e initiative with USAID as their key development partner.
The initiative was also launched in collaboration with the private sector, including groups like SCMAP, Farmer Organizations/Cooperatives, and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
Together, the government and these groups signed a pledge to improve farmers’ access to key markets and to increase participation of agribusiness SMEs through the DELIVER-e platform and innovative business models.