San Miguel Corporation (SMC) recently opened San Miguel Market, a community marketplace for farmers and fisherfolk affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was formally inaugurated at Sariaya, Quezon and aims to provide displaced farmers and fisherfolk families disaster-resilient homes and a safe community with amenities and facilities to support their livelihood. They can also sell their produce to bulk buyers from Quezon province, neighboring provinces, and Metro Manila.
Benefits to farmers and fisherfolk
Farmers and fisherfolk are the most affected by the pandemic. Many of them were forced to throw away their freshly-harvested fruits and vegetables due to lack of buyers, limited access to public markets, low demand, and such. (Read: San Miguel Donates Food to Typhoon Victims, Vows to Address Metro Manila Flooding)
“With the San Miguel Market, farmers and fisherfolk who reside at our sustainable housing community, those in neighboring areas and barangays, now have their very own marketplace nearby, where they can sell their goods without spending much to transport these to other markets,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said.
It is a big help to the farmers and fisherfolk in the province of Quezon, whose livelihoods are at stake. Aside from strengthening the local agriculture, it will also enable them to continue producing crops and fishing and sell it again to regular buyers at an acceptable rate amidst the pandemic.
“This means more income in their pockets for their families and, for customers, more affordable food choices,” he added.
San Miguel Market
The majority of vendors at the San Miguel Market are relocatees selling fresh fruits, vegetables, rice, seafood, and meats. There is also a health and wellness stall, cellphone repair shop, pharmacy, bakery, shoe store, and the San Miguel Food and Beverage Hub.
According to Ang, SMC plans to expand the market to 10,000 square meters and use it as a wholesale market or bagsakan center for produce coming from Sariaya and other parts of Quezon province. (Read: San Miguel Donates 36 Boats to Fisherfolk in Sariaya, Quezon)
The market is complemented by an earlier completed Fishermen’s Dock that fishermen can use as a base of operations to store their boats, engines, and fishing supplies. A Fishermen’s Hall in the dock also serves as their rest and storage area.
The San Miguel Market is managed by the Malasakit Management, Inc., composed of relocatees of SMC’s San Miguel-Christian Gayeta Homes and individuals or families who moved to safer and newly-built homes in Sariaya.