THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said an online delivery platform permitting farmers to sell directly to consumers will formally launch today, Monday.

In a statement Sunday, the DTI said the platform, which is known as DELIVER-e, was organized in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, farm cooperatives, the private sector, and the United States Agency for International Development. DELIVER-e was developed by a startup, Insight Supply Chain Solutions.

The platform comes with a “multi-stakeholder pledge signing to upscale the agriculture value chain and improve overall food security” even beyond the pandemic, the DTI added.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the launch of DELIVER-e is designed in part to raise farmer incomes by eliminating middlemen.

“This initiative is all about bringing farm produce closer to consumers and cutting layers of traders. Through technology and innovation, it will be game-changing not only for our farmers but also for consumers,” Mr. Lopez said.

The DTI said DELIVER-e is blockchain-powered and “integrates related e-commerce and logistics application services from consolidation point to a central warehousing facility, and then to last-mile delivery services to reach end-clients.”

Mr. Lopez reiterated that the DTI aims to increase production and ensure supply stability for commodities by exploring new business models.

DELIVER-e has been in initial operation since April, and has moved more than 260 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, generating P7.15 million in sales, the DTI noted.

The department added that the platform has helped about 600 farmers in Luzon and the southern Philippines “by doubling their income from their harvests and reducing waste from 50% down to only 5%.”

The DTI expects the platform to take in more users operating in the agriculture value chain.

“DELIVER-e will soon be able to build an elaborate supply-and-demand dashboard system that will be useful in providing insightful data for the Philippine government’s evidence-based decision-making process in relevant sectors and issues as the country moves towards building back better,” the department added. — Arjay L. Balinbin