SM Foundation instills agri-based skillsets in farmers amid the pandemic

SMFI’s KSK program launch in Camiling, Tarlac

SM Foundation’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) on Sustainable Agriculture expanded its reach by welcoming new batches of farmer trainees in Tarlac and Pampanga.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the KSK program aims to provide the marginalized farmers with agri-based skillset and livelihood opportunities through market linkages, enabling them to secure healthy food for their family and even for their communities.

The recent KSK launches were held at the following partner farm schools: Castro Tomas Farm School in Camiling, Tarlac; St. Isidore “the farmer” Learning Center in Sta. Ana, Pampanga; and Talete Ping Panyolong Kapampangan, Inc. (TPKI) in San Fernando, Pampanga.

SM Foundation noted that social distancing, wearing of masks, and other health and safety protocols were observed during the onsite launch. Others attended virtually via an online videoconferencing platform.

SMFI’s KSK program launch in Sta. Ana, Pampanga

In her speech, SMFI AVP for outreach programs Cristie Angeles shared that in the past months, KSK farmer-graduates from Sta. Ana and Pampanga were able to sell their produce to SMDC condo owners under the Good Guys Market — which is a collaboration between the developer giant and SMFI. This initiative is meant to not only help ensure the food security of condo residents but also provide a livelihood to local farmers during this pandemic.

This was seconded by SM Markets SAVP Reynaldo del Valle in his video message for the farmers, “Kami po ay maaring bumili ng inyong mga produkto base po sa aming pangangailangan. Ito po ay mangyayari sa pamamagitan ng pakikipag-ugnayan sa SMFI at sa inyong host farm.”

Through the collective efforts of SM Foundation and different government and non-government organizations, the program was recently further enhanced and now provides greater learning opportunities, including the inclusion of TESDA scholarship, and market exposure for the participants.

SMFI’s KSK program launch in San Fernando, Pampanga

SMFI’s partners in this social good initiative include the Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, SM Markets, SM Supermalls, and St. Isidore "The Farmer" Learning Center, among others.

Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program 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 26,700 farmers from almost 3,360 barangays in 880 cities/municipalities.