SM Foundation bolsters agri-enterprises of KSK farmers
SM City Sta. Rosa
SM Foundation (SMFI), the corporate social responsibility arm of the SM group, continues to innovate its social good programs to better serve its stakeholders, especially those in grassroot communities. One of the recent efforts launched by SMFI is the Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) Farmer’s Market Day.
SMFI acknowledges the importance of access to profitable market in order for the agri-enterprises of farmers to bloom. It is in this light that the KSK Farmer’s Market Day came to fruition. Through this initiative, farmers who completed the KSK on Sustainable Agriculture program are given venues at SM malls nationwide where they may sell their locally grown produce.
Aside from having a free booth venue in a strategic area at the mall, the farmers are also mentored on how to properly showcase their produce in terms of packaging, labelling, and pricing. Mall customers are ensured that the crops being sold are safe, organic, and in best quality.
SMFI Assistant Vice President for Outreach and Livelihood programs Cristie Angeles said, “When we started the KSK program in 2007, it's all about training, producing quality fruits and vegetables, and food on the table. But as we go along, we keep on innovating so we can help our farmers become agri-prenuers.”
SM City Sta. Rosa
To date, the KSK booths have been launched in more than 40 SM malls nationwide. Moreover, this program is in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), City Agriculture Office, and SM Supermalls.
“For the farmers, we will continue to develop their entrepreneurship and we will continue to create technology updates for them kasi yun po yung kakailanganin nila. Naniniwala po kami na yun ang paraan para umangat ang kabuhayan nila,” Angeles further said.
Empowering local farmers
In an interview, Lira Jean Libiano, one of the KSK farmers from Iloilo shared how this initiative has helped her and her fellow farmers during the pandemic.
“Dati nahihirapan kaming isipin kung saan namin ibebenta lahat ng ani namin. Ang dami naming tanim pero hindi sapat ang nabebenta,” Lira shared.
“Kaya noong inilunsad nila ang proyektong KSK Farmer’s Market Day, laking pasasalamat namin ng mga kasamahan kong magsasaka dahil nagkaroon kami ng magandang pwesto sa loob ng mall. Napalawig ng programang ito ang aming customers na nagresulta sa dagdag sa aming kinikita,” she stated.
Lira went on to share that despite the pandemic, they are now able to continue their farming activities as they no longer have to worry about where to sell their produce.
It can be recalled that even before the launch of the KSK Farmer’s Market Day, SMFI has already started linking its farmers to various available markets. Several KSK farmers became seasonal SM Markets suppliers, while the majority are now earning by selling in nearby local markets.