With harvest in full swing at farms during this summer season, SM Foundation’s (SMFI) Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program farmer-trainees looked for innovative ways to process their raw vegetables and sell their crops amid the Luzon-wide lockdown brought about by the government’s implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SMFI’s KSK farmer-graduate Rosemarie Canda Cajuguiran of Capas, Tarlac shared how her learnings from the program proved to be useful, especially in times like the COVID-19 pandemic. KSK farmer-graduate Rosemarie Canda Cajuguiran harvesting her produce.
Since the announcement of the Philippine government mid-March of the conduct of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to curb the spread of COVID-19, Rosemarie considered herself and her family fortunate and blessed to have a secured source of food. She has planted and has been growing some vegetables even before the ECQ started.
“Kahit naka-quarantine kami, kami ay nakakaraos at naitataguyod ng aming pananim. Napakinabangan namin ang mga natutunan ko sa KSK dahil naging marami at naging maganda ang aking mga ani,” Rosemarie shared.
Meanwhile, SM Foundation’s (SMFI) Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) Batch 159 farmer-graduate Maureen Olivo Ignacio of Barangay Tumana, Marikina City shares her love for farming by giving out seeds for free to those who are interested in planting and harvesting fresh vegetables at the comfort and available spaces of their homes in Metro Manila.
Maureen has been giving free seeds even before the enhanced community quarantine took effect. She shares her knowledge on farming and urban gardening by giving seminars and tips through her personal Facebook page.
Some of Maureen’s plants in her own backyard
“My advocacy is to teach people about planting in their own backyards. There were numerous times that I’ve been invited to give free seminars, in areas outside Marikina,” she said.
KSK Ivy tills the soil and plants in her backyard
Another KSK farmer graduate is Ivy de Guzman of batch 219 in Dinalupihan, Bataan. She said they were able to sell their produce at farm gate prices to the local government unit which in turn distributed it as relief goods to its constituents. Not only was her KSK batch able to provide food for themselves and their families, but they were also able to contribute to the food security of their community.
Some of Ivy’s plants in her own backyard