SM, together with its partners, recently welcomed another batch of Pasay urban farmers— composed of 25 beneficiaries—to the Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan on Sustainable Agriculture program (KSK).
This brings the total number of current Pasay farmers under the KSK program to 50—the first batch of 25 farmers from Pasay was launched last July. This is in addition to more than 250 Pasay
- KSK Farmer graduates since the program’s inception.
This effort was made possible through a sustained social good collaboration between the SM Prime Holdings (SMPH), SM Foundation (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).
SMFI AVP for Outreach Programs Cristie Angeles officially welcomed the participants to the KSK program. Angeles explained that this KSK run is a 14-week long agri-training program that will discuss the following: Production of organic vegetables, organic extracts and fertilizers, plant preparation and propagation, science of container gardening, pest and disease management, and other topics related to sustainable agriculture.
From left to right: Rida Reyes, SM Prime AVP for Public Relations; Glenn Ang, SM Supermalls SVP for Operations; KSK Pasay Batch 2 farmers; Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano of Pasay City; Engr. Ramon Gil Macapagal, SMFI Trustee; and representatives from SM and its partners during the KSK Pasay Batch 2 virtual launch.
Furthermore, also included in the training course is a module about SM’s late founder, Henry Sy Sr’s values and life principles—which intends to inspire Pasay urban farmer-participants as they establish their own agri-enterprises. This training segment is usually conducted by SM Supermalls officers as part of the company’s volunteeriSM program.
A Sustainability Forum will also be conducted where all partner agencies and institutions present available programs, services, and local economic opportunities that the farmers—as an individual or as a group/organization—may benefit from. The trainees will also be assisted in creating markets through the various SM Business Units.
In her video message, Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano expressed her gratitude to SM for partnering with the city government of Pasay in bringing this social good program to the residents of the said city.
Addressing the KSK Pasay farmers, she said, “Pahalagahan ninyo ang ganitong pagkakataon na binahagi nang libre at bukas loob ng SM Foundation, sa pakikipagtulungan sa ating LGU. Sulitin at gamitin ang lahat ng inyong matututunan dahil para sa inyo ito. Para sa ikabubuti ng inyong buhay at pandagdag kita. Sama-sama tayo sa pag-ahon at pagsulong ng kabuhayan.”
KSK Pasay farmers batch 2 (Health protocols were observed during the conduct of the onsite training)
SM Prime AVP for Public Relations Rida Reyes stated, “Malaking blessing po yung mayroon kang maihahain sa inyong hapag mula sa skills na inyong matututunan sa programang ito. Maraming limitasyon ngayong pandemiya ngunit marami ring oportunidad na nagbubukas.”
“Pagtulungan po nating maging successful at makabuluhan ang susunod na 14 weeks na inyong gugugulin sa pag-aaral at pagsasanay sa ilalim ng programang ito,” she further added.
Through a video message, TESDA Pasay-Makati District Training and Assessment Center (PMDTAC) Administrator Vernadette Gonzales shared some updates on the 1stbatch of KSK Pasay farmers, “Ang mga programang kagaya nito ay hindi magbibigay ng ayuda sa atin - ngunit ito ay magbabahagi ng kaalaman na maaari nating magamit pang habang buhay. Ito ay magbibigay sa atin ng paraan upang maiangat ang ating kabuhayan. Sa kabilang barangay po na siya rin naming nagging bahagi ng programa ng SM Foundation, ay nakapaghatid ang TESDA- PMDTAC ng 5-day urban garden training and carpentry training. Lahat ng trainees ng carpentry ay magkakaroon ng assessment upang sila ay magawaran ng National Certificate II for Carpentry.”
DSWD NCR Regional Director Vicente Gregorio Tomas shared some reminders to the participants, “Nawa ay sa patuloy nating pagtutulungan at pagkilos ng may malasakit, ay makamit natin ang isang masagana, luntian at malusog na pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng patuloy na pagsuporta at pag adbokasiya natin sa Urban Farming. Sana po ay isabuhay natin ang magagandang layunin na pagsasanay na ito upang itaguyod ang konsepto ng food security sa bawat tahanan at pamayanan lalo na ngayong may pandemiya.”
Through a video message, DTI NCR Regional Director Marcelina Alcantara shared “This is where the importance of urban farming comes to the fore. If we can generate a significant supply of food products from our cities, we will not only solve the issue of food security, but also bring in a sustainable source of income for our people. What’s laudable about this initiative is the fact that this is a provate sector led - and brought together different stakeholders from both public and private sectors of our country”.
SMFI KSK trainer Zamora orients the KSK-Pasay farmers about the agri-training modules.
In a message sent to the organizers, DA Undersecretary for High-Value Crops, Evelyn Laviña stated “Muli po naipapakita ng programang ito na may likas tayong kakayahan at pagnanais na mailunsad itong programang ito sa kabila ng banta ng COVID-19. Ang inyong paglahok sa programang ito ay magdudulot ng isang maginhawang landas sa inyo at inyong mga kapamilya sapagkat ito ay wastong kaparaanan upang magkaroon tayo ng pagkakataon na magsanay at maisakatuparan ang kagandahan ng pagsasama sama tungo sa paglikha ng daang pangkabuhayan.”
Sharing his experience in running the social good project with SMFI, Glenn Ang, SM Supermalls SVP for Operations stated, “Libo libong tao na po across the country ang nag undergo sa KSK training at nabago ang kanilang pamumuhay. Hindi lang ito training, kayo rin po ay bibigyan ng access upang maibenta or makalakal ang ating mga produkto. Atin pong mahalin ang pagsasanay na ito - sapagkat ang pagkakataon na ito, sa gitna ng pandemya ay maaring makapagbigay sa atin ng paraan upang makaahon.”
SM’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) Farmers’ Training Program 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.