The 219th batch consisting of 50 farmers graduated from the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan on Sustainable Agriculture Program (KSK-SAP) on Oct. 26 at the municipal covered court in Lomon, Paykek, Kapangan, Benguet.
For six weeks, the farmers were taught on effective backyard planting and small-scale farming techniques for fruits and vegetables. This helps improve and increase their harvests as well as provide organic food for their families.
SM Foundation Inc. also assists farmers who form cooperatives by linking them to local markets and SM suppliers for a more stable source of income.
For the 219th batch of KSK-SAP farmers, SMFI joined with SM Supermalls; SM Markets; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; department of and Social Welfare and Development; Philippine Information Agency; St. Isidore The Farmer Learning Center, Inc., the provincial government of Benguet; and municipal government of Kapangan.
KSK-SAP is for agriculture sustainability and food security and aims to aid in creation of opportunities, skills or education enhancement, livelihood, and employment to uplift and empower underprivileged farmers.
Through a video message presented during the graduation ceremony, SM Foundation Assistant Vice President for Outreach Programs Cristie Angeles congratulated the Kapangan farmers for completing the KSK-SAP program successfully and announced that the farmers are also equipped to be trainers with their SMFI KSK-SAP graduation certificate and Tesda National Certificate.
“This graduation ceremony is not the end of our communication and connection with each other. We promise to continue raising our farmers. We will adjust to the new normal and together we will prevail.” Angeles added.
Kapangan Mayor Manny Fermin also congratulated the graduates of the KSK-SAP and expressed his gratitude to the SMFI, LGUs, and the stakeholders who helped their farmers gain better opportunities.
“We congratulate the graduates for completing their six-week program. We thank the national government, LGUs, SM Foundation, and the private sectors in nurturing and monitoring the progress of our farmers. The market opportunity of SM has given a great advantage for the farmers to extend their network and to ensure good production during this pandemic,” DA-Cordillera Director Cameron P. Odsey said in a message delivered through DA-Cordillera Agricultural Production Coordinating Office Gabriel Pacio.
The KSK-SAP is part of the SMFI which has been serving different communities since 1983, focusing on social inclusion by nurturing and caring for those in need. The foundation serves as the core belief of SM Group of Companies’ corporate social responsibility, established by Henry Sy, Sr. and Felicidad T. Sy, while anchoring on the principle “People Helping People.”
The foundation is committed to giving back to the community by supporting and empowering host communities through education, healthcare, shelter, disaster response, farmers’ training, environmental programs, and care for persons with special needs. – Press release