The pandemic has given us at BukidFresh both challenges and benefits. The obvious benefit was that a lot more people were ordering online since almost all of the brick-and-mortar shops were closed and weren't doing online delivery.
Since fruits and vegetables are basic food that people need every day, we continued to operate. Of course, it wasn't all good news. Since we were battling an enemy that could not be seen by the naked eye but was highly contagious through human interaction, some of our partner farmers were afraid to continue operating or even go outside their homes.
Another serious challenge was that our logistics partner’s delivery fleet was severely cut due to the lockdown. Even though customer demand was high, farmer suppliers were not operating as usual as the number of delivery personnel was extremely low.
“ We didn’t just solve our own problem, but also helped Angkas riders to continue their livelihood by providing them new opportunities. ”
On a personal level, at the beginning of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), I was anxious and felt a little bit of fear because of the uncertainties brought on by a virus that could potentially kill us.
But we were still able to deliver to our huge number of customers through a combination of hard work and luck. We were lucky enough to find a farmers cooperative that was still operating, and they had their own delivery van for a smooth movement of fresh fruits and vegetables.
As for the low number of delivery riders, we solved that by getting Angkas riders who weren’t working and got them onboard to deliver fruits and vegetables. We didn’t just solve our own problem, but also helped Angkas riders to continue their livelihood by providing them new opportunities.
Moving forward, I see BukidFresh spearheading the effort to provide people their weekly source of fresh fruits and vegetables, and coming up with innovative solutions to help solve problems in the “new normal.”
As for agribusiness, with work-from-home being the new normal and people in Metro Manila going back to their respective provinces, we may see a rise in farm businesses booming in the near future — a big plus for the agriculture sector since our number of farmers has been steadily declining for the past few years.
Hopefully, the agriculture sector will again be in the spotlight as the government and our people have taken notice of our food security issues that need to be solved fast. I hope to see Philippine agriculture as competitive as our ASEAN neighbors, for it to be able to comfortably supply food to the growing population of the country, and be the driving force in elevating our economy after this pandemic.
Edited by Tanya T. Lara