The Philippine Harvest Initiative is a project of the Department of Tourism (DOT) that brings together under one roof DOT-accredited farm sites, selected travel agencies, and local food exhibitors. 

With the objective of bringing farm-produced products and local delicacies straight to consumers, it used to be held in Central Square Mall at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative was almost shelved—until the DOT, with help from Grab Philippines, transitioned the program into a digital initiative.

Through the partnership of DOT and Grab, Philippine Harvest is now made available online, allowing farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to showcase their products and make these more accessible to consumers. 

With Grab’s expansive presence and services, the company aims to strengthen DOT’s advocacy of supporting more local agripreneurs, especially during these challenging times. 

“Our partnership with Grab Philippines seeks to support the DOT’s Philippine Harvest Initiative to soften COVID-19 impact on our farmers and SMEs by making both fresh and processed local food products more accessible to a greater number of Filipinos,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

“Philippine Harvest launched its online platform in April 2020. Grab comes into the picture to boost Philippine Harvest online. As you will see in the coming days and months, the use of digital apps such as Grab will be one of the methods by which we shall successfully navigate our way through the new normal,” added Puyat. 

The partnership follows an earlier agreement between Grab and the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the on-demand delivery service for DA’s eKadiwa online marketplace initiative.

With the agreement, Grab lends its platform to Philippines Harvest to increase awareness of the DOT program through a promotional tile in-app. Once clicked, users will be able to browse through all the participating merchants and the different products they offer. Further promotion will also be done by the company through its various social media assets.

Aside from awareness, merchants will be able to focus on what they do best as Grab will also provide transportation for the products. Through the GrabExpress fleet, the platform will be in charge of bringing Philippine Harvest products to the doorstep of their customers.

“Grab is committed to leveraging its technology to support local businesses, especially as we navigate through this new reality. As we lend our support to the farmers and SME partner-merchants under the Philippine Harvest program of the Department of Tourism, we hope that more Filipinos will support locally grown products. Each purchase from the merchants of the program will go a long way in supporting our kababayans, and in promoting our own local culture,” says Grab Philippines president Brian Cu.

Running on its 11th year, Philippine Harvest is a joint collaboration between the DOT and Stores Specialists Inc. (SSI) to promote local, organic, artisanal, and indigenous food.