“IF you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
This is what SM Foundation (SMFI) believes in as it touches the lives of farmers across the country through its Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) on sustainable agriculture program. For SMFI, its social good efforts should uplift the lives of its stakeholders which would later create a ripple effect that would also be beneficial for their communities.
Recent graduates of its KSK program are the 50 urban farmers from Pasay City under its Batch 225-A (Brgy. 144) and 225-B (Brgy. 198). The farmer-graduates underwent a 14-week long agri-training program that taught them basic and advanced organic farming techniques and agripreneurship.
The said effort was made possible through a sustained social good collaboration between the SM Prime Holdings (SMPH), SMFI, City Government of Pasay, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Beginning of something ‘greater’
In her message, SM Prime AVP for Public Relations Rida Reyes underscored that the program doesn’t end on their graduation, rather it’s just a start for their continuous improvement: “Hindi nagtatapos ang lahat sa araw na ito. Yung lahat ng inyong pinag-aralan, natutunan, at lahat ng mga pinaghirapan niyo, yan pa lang ang simula. Umaasa po kami na magagamit niyo lahat ng natutunan niyo sa programang ito.”
Office of the Pasay City Mayor’s Chief-of-Staff Peter Eric Pardo reminded the graduates, “Alam niyo po ‘yang certificates na mahahawakan ninyo mamaya, magkakaroon lang po yan ng halaga depende sa magiging bunga, kung paano ninyo gagamitin sa mga susunod na panahon ang natutunan dito. Hindi lang yan simpleng papel dahil yan ay inyong pinagpaguran at pinag-alayan niyo ng labing apat na linggo para mayroon kayong mapakinabangan sa mga susunod na panahon.”
A nudge for budding agripreneurs
SM Foundation trustee Engr. Chito Macapagal further highlighted that SM, together with its partners, are pledging their continuous support for the farmers to ensure the sustainability aspect of the program.
“Ang programa pong ito ay binuo ng SM Foundation at hatid sa inyo ng SM Prime Holdings para po sa benepisyo ng mga taga-Pasay. Atin pong pagsusumikapan sa hinaharap na mapag ibayo pa ang ating programa nang sa gayon ay madagdagan pa ang inyong oportunidad na pangkabuhayan. Ang labis nating ani ay maari nating iaalok o itinda sa mga kalapit komunidad na nangangailangan ng mga sariwang prutas at gulay”.
Aside from giving them the knowledge on urban farming, each KSK graduate also received a KSK Farmer Starter Kit composed of a trowel, transplanter, cultivator, garden sprayer and pruning shears – which intends to help them in their urban farming ventures. SM Prime will also provide a livelihood grant for each farmer group for them to be able to start their own agri-enterprises. “Magbabahagi kami sa inyo ng mga gulay mula sa SM Prime upang magamit ninyo bilang panimula sa inyong magiging negosyong gulayan. Mula doon mag-uumpisa ang inyong panibagong hanapbuhay.” SMFI AVP for Outreach and Livelihood programs Cristie Angeles shared.
SM’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) aims to bring modern and sustainable farming skills in both rural and urban communities to help farmers have food on their table and have potential economic opportunities. To date, the program has trained more than 28,100 farmers from more than 900 cities/municipalities nationwide.