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Friday, April 26, 2024

Sustainable Farming Future

The Philippines is still an agricultural country and even if there are already modern agricultural techniques, a majority of Filipino farmers still depend on traditional farming methods. Hence, struggling to keep pace with higher market demand and quality produce. 

Jayson Garcia comes from a family of farmers in Pampanga. He new that he needs to be competitive and innovate so that his farm will thrive. He is also aware of the rapidly evolving landscape of modern agriculture. 

"Noon, mahirap ang magtanim," he recalled their life before joining SM Foundation's Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan. "Para bang tsambahan, basta pag itinanim mo 'yan, hintayin mo na lang mamunga. Mas mahirap pa lalo kapag nagkaroon ng kalamidad."

SM Foundation's training program focused on high-value crop cultivation was the breakthrough Garcia needed to revitalize his farming techniques. These included selecting the best seeds and caring for them as well as strategic planting schedules. 

The livelihood program also gave way for him to discover alternative sales channels that enhanced his earning potential while extending fair prices to his customers. The knowledge and confidence he gained led him to expand his farm, and in effect, increased his monthly income to more than P25,000.

Aside from directly selling his harvests, he is now planting a variety of vegetables on his farm, including lemongrass, malunggay, and madre de cacao, which he sells online to small businesses that process the produce into other products. 

Sharing the same story of hope is another KSK farmer from Pampanga. Juanito Dela Cruz actively pursued and adopted modern farming techniques to his farm despite his age. He shared that is is important for farmers to adapt, calling for others to try and explore new practices. 

From a modest income of P10,000 monthly, Juanito experienced an upsurge in his earnings especially when he joined the Weekend Market at SM City Clark, yielding around P30,000 weekly. "Kailangan maging bukas tayo sa makabagong pamamaraan ng pagsasaka para makahabol tayo sa demands ng panahon ngayon- ito ang itinuro sa akin ng SM Foundation-KSK."

The SM Group's KSK program has changed the lives of roughly 30,000 Filipino farmers, including Jayson and Juanity. Through its initiatives, farmers who once lost hope have been able to embrace modern farming techniques, leading to adaptability in the face of the evolving agriculture landscape. 

The SM Group, through the SM Foundation, remains steadfast in its commitment to spreading social good. This dedication extends to SM's forthcoming endeavors to be led by its future smart city property development- with focus on enhancing positive social impact in the communities where SM operates.


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