June 14, 2024

■  Text & Photos: Jenfrey Benafin

Seventy-two farmer-beneficiaries of Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) advanced on May 3 at SM City Baguio after completing the 14-day program that aims to train farmers on sustainable agricultureinitiated by SM Foundation, Inc.in February.

The farmers were divided into three batches with 22 coming from sitio Liw-liw, Camp 4, Tuba and 25 each from Calamay, Bayabas, Sablan in Benguet and Purok 1, Happy Hollow, Baguio City.

Before the commencement exercise, the farmers toured SM Supermarket to observe the products displayed and check the packaging, labeling, and pricing.

Asst. Mall Manager Michael Jason N. Peña congratulated the farmers and shared his hopes of contributing to the development of the agriculture sector.

Each batch presented their business plans highlighting organic farming as a healthier option, targeting a different scope of market.

They said they will use social media platforms to market their produce instead of the traditional house-to-house marketing.

The farmer groups also aim to process their harvest and introduce innovative products like organic soaps and chips.

The groups were assisted by the program partners in developing their branding and coming up with a plausible business plan.

After their presentations, partners of the program provided a message for the farmers, promising additional support in innovating their pro-ducts, further trainings in using machineries, marketing opportunities to boost their livelihood,and other contributions that they are able to provide to the farmers asnew competitors in the market.

The  farmers’ training included production, processing, and business planning which is a complete practical package for farmers who wants to develop their agricultural practices.

The program was implemented in partnership with the Departmenst of Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Social Welfare and Development, and Science and Technology, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, SM Supermarket, municipal agriculture, City Social Welfare Development, City Mayor’s Office, and Lily of the Valley of Baguio City.