Meet the Pinoy Social Enterprise Behind ‘Rescued Vegetables’ in Manila
January 16, 2023
Agriculture is one of the most difficult sectors in the Philippines, as it faces major challenges due to rising prices of energy and oil, low farm income and rural employment, and climate change.
Despite its crucial role in the economy, the agriculture sector has the highest poverty incidence of 31.6 % among farmers and 26.2% among the fisherfolk, according to 2018 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
In an effort to support distressed farmers, Rural Rising (RuRi) Philippines was established to foster agri-entrepreneurship in rural areas. The organization aims to improve the country’s food security and environmental sustainability, as well as expand economic opportunity.
Rural Rising Marketplace
Rural Rising Philippines has created a platform where buyers can purchase rescued fruits and vegetables by participating in an exciting shopping game called Box-All-You-Can (BAYC), which costs between P699 and P799.
In partnership with Ayala Malls, this program has been running for the past six months and is intended to assist farmers in Luzon. The BAYC game was introduced in Alabang Town Center, followed by the UP Town Center, Glorietta, and Market! Market! The organization also held private BAYCs with major companies such as PLDT-Smart, San Miguel Corporation, UnionBank, Fluor Daniel, First Balfour, and HSBC, to name a few.
The rules are simple. Shoppers will be given 10 minutes to fill their boxes as much as they can, without any weight limit. All proceeds will be given to farmers, and no perishable goods will be thrown away. Some of the rescued vegetables that shoppers can take home are zucchini, watermelon, yakon, cabbages, wombok, carrots, tomatoes, orange kamote, pokopok and señorita bananas, white radish, Baguio lemons, yellow corn, Japanese cucumbers, kalabasa, guyabano, pineapples, green ice lettuce, giant beets and more.
RuRi also hosts a seedling raffle for only P100 to help farmers in Nueva Vizcaya. Other programs they offer are Share A Box (P699), BAYC Guard and Janitor Edition (P699), and probiotic eggs (up to two trays for only P299).
To bring the advocacy work of Rural Rising to the national level, the social enterprise aims to collaborate with government stakeholders to align the agricultural sector in the right direction driven by commitment and shared visions.
Rural Rising outlined programs and efforts that these departments must employ. By empowering farmers and fishermen, the Department of Agriculture could help the industry foster growth and food security, safety, and sustainability.
Building roads that connect farms and markets is one of the responsibilities of both the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works and Highways. This bridges the efficient transport of agricultural goods from one place to another.
The Department of Labor and Employment, on the other hand, is the linchpin of the workforce and it is their responsibility to develop relevant training among farm workers. The Department of Trade and Industry is expected to promote agri-entrepreneurship by strengthening consumer protection and keeping close tabs on the levels of supply and demand.
The mission of the Department of Agrarian Reform is to promote agricultural growth, ensure food security, and increase the profitability of farming and fishing enterprises.
To develop reliable e-commerce platforms for agriproducts, the Department of Information and Technology is expected to provide logistics and distribution monitoring as well as communication systems.
The Department of Finance can facilitate access to funding and credit by establishing a convenient business climate.
It is the responsibility of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority as well as the Department of Education to infuse agriculture education into students' K-12 curricula and to provide technical training for those who are economically dependent on farmers.
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