Continuing the cycle of local farmer support
SM City San Jose Del Monte Bulacan Mall Manager (middle) welcomes farmers during the mall’s Farmer’s Market Day.
The call to support all things local has recently gained the traction it deserves. Consumers’ renewed interest in how products are sourced has led them to see the many hats farmers wear–from crop production and business management to marketing and, at times, advertising–to reach the playing field.
Beyond the buzz, the community has created a cycle of local farmer support. Farmers' earnings from selling products within the community stay close to home. They reinvest it in their livelihood, strengthening their harvest and services within the community.
Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan
To join farmers in their endeavor, SM Foundation’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) on Sustainable Agriculture program equipped them with modern farming techniques, tools, kits, and linkages to boost their economic opportunities and bring their products closer to the people.
KSK beneficiaries are also invited to join Farmer’s Market Day in SM Supermalls nationwide to have the opportunity to directly sell their products to mall-goers. Alongside this, healthy and newly harvested products become more accessible to customers.
Local farmers and Correa (fourth from left) take a photo before the opening of Farmer’s Market Day in SM City San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan.
In SM City San Jose Del Monte Farmer’s Market Day in Bulacan, Mall Manager Jose Mari Correa shared that some farmers were KSK farmer-trainees in 2015–a year before the mall opened. The event in the mall gave them the opportunity to strengthen their learnings from the KSK training programs.
“We provided a space at the Mall Atrium for KSK farmers to showcase their high-quality agricultural products to the San Jose community,” Correa said. “They were a pleasure to work with and they all seem to take a lot of pride in selling their produce.”
KSK Farmer Nancy Aguilar proudly showcases her freshly harvested products at SM City San Jose Del Monte’s Farmer’s Market Day.
(Photo from Karugkog Baligang EcoNature Farm)
One of the KSK farmers present at SM City San Jose Del Monte’s Farmer’s Market Day was Nancy Aguilar. Correa shared that Aguilar previously worked in the advertising industry but pursued farming after attending the KSK training in 2015. Since then, the farmer has been able to run her own business, the Karugkog Baligang EcoNature Farm.
“The farmers were very thankful for the opportunity to sell at the mall, as this provided them an opportunity to offer much of their produce at a better price point. They are looking forward to continued support from SM Foundation and the mall,” Correa added.
The Farmer’s Market Day has been open in SM City San Jose Del Monte every Friday since June 2022. It will continue to provide a platform for farmers and supporters of local farming until the end of this year.
SMFI’s KSK aims to bring modern and sustainable farming skills to both rural and urban communities to help farmers have food on their tables and have potential economic opportunities. To date, the program has trained more than 28,500 farmers from more than 900 cities/municipalities nationwide.