July 21, 2024

The SM Foundation together with the local governments of Baguio City and the towns of Sablan and Tuba in Benguet has recently launched the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan on Sustainable Agriculture Program (KSK-SAP).

At least 75 farmers from the three areas will undergo a 14-day training on modern farming and organic farming methods at the Lily of the Valley Organic Farm.

The SM Foundation will assist the farmers in formalizing their respective groups into a farmer-cooperative or be organized into an association to boost their earning capacity and contribution to economic growth.

The foundation will support them in creating a sustainable and profitable farming community through the assistance of the partner agencies.

When they harvest, they will have a chance to sell their produce, including the other products from their respective areas, at the SM Baguio and other possible markets.

The farmer-beneficiaries can also avail of the services of the partner government agencies of the project,

Namely the Cordillera offices of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Department Science and Technology, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Philippine Information Agency; and Deparment of Social Welfare and Development Benguet.

Mayors Clarita Sal-ongan of Tuba and Alfredo Dacumos Jr. of Sablan expressed their gratitude to the collaboration of the private sector and government agencies in bringing opportunities such as the improvement of the skills and knowledge in farming, and in agri-business, to their own farmers.

The development and improvement of agriculture is among the priorities of their respective LGUs to contribute to the sustainability of agriculture, and in ensuring food security, the mayors added.

The farmer-beneficiaries expressed gratitude for bringing such training to them, and vowed to complete their program and apply their newly learned knowledge for the development of the farming industry in their respective areas.

Since its inception in 2007, KSK-SAP has helped more than 28,000 marginalized farmers from rural and urban areas across the country, fueling their entrepreneurial and farming capabilities.

Some of the program’s graduates have turned into seasonal suppliers for the SM group and other local markets. – Redjie Melvic Cawis