Since September, SM Foundation has been executing Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) on Sustainable Agriculture in Davao City to diversify its reach so that more farmers will benefit from new farming technologies that would improve both their yields and incomes.
These launches are in collaboration with various government agencies, principally the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The training programs are done in a span of 29 days and are based on a calendar planting schedule so that farmers will be able to crop do crop rotation year-round. This agricultural strategy will enable the KSK participants to restore or to maintain a productive soil.
From September to October, the agri-based program has already been launched in the following areas in Davao City:
- Brgy. Talandang, Tugbok Distict
- Brgy .Carmen, Baguio District
- Brgy. Malagos, Baguio District
- Brgy. Baguio Proper, Baguio District
- Brgy. Los Amigos, Tugbok District
Two more KSK batches are being programmed for Barangay Cadalian, Baguio District and Barangay Cawayan, Calinan District. All told, the program launches in Davao involve 250 trainees.
During the launch, SM Foundation distributed KSK Agri Starter Kits, which include vegetable seeds and other farm implements, together with its training partner—Macondray Philippines. This strategy intends to help the farmer trainees to immediately execute the farming technologies that they learned from the program.
Mayor Sara Duterte, speaking in the vernacular, highlighted agriculture’s important role for the economy, “It starts with you, our hardworking farmers. The cycle from planting to providing food on our tables.”
“We are grateful to you for providing us with a stable food supply. All of you have a grand contribution to ensure food security and help augment our economy,” she told the farmer-trainees from Barangay Malagos.
Mayor Duterte also said the government is ready to implement programs and projects that could help elevate their livelihood. “We are also thankful to private organizations and foundations, like SM Foundation, for implementing Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Program that would greatly help in boosting the livelihood of the farmers.”
To sustain the program, SM City Davao Assistant Mall Manager Warren Rey Bautista said that SM Supermalls and SM Supermarkets will be assisting the farmers, through the guidance of partner farm-schools who will help the farmer trainees in finding markets for their produce.
Engr. Jonathan Nick D. Santos, regional manager of SM Supermalls–Mindanao, said, “Sa pamamagitan nitong KSK na may holistic training program, matuturuan ang mga participant ng iba’t-ibang paraan upang makatulong sa pagkamit ng sustainable agriculture practices at food security.”
“Sa programang ito, gagabayan kayo ng ating training partners mula sa TESDA at Wangan National Agricultural School. Mayroon ding technical and hands-on training sa pagtatanim ng prutas, gulay at iba pang high value crops. At upang mapalago at magabayan ang inyong mga planong agri-business, kayo ay tuturuan din ng financial literacy, accounting, post-harvesting and handling. Gagabayan din kayo para magkaroon kayo ng sustainable agri-based plans,” he added.
Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) 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 26,700 farmers from almost 3,360 barangays in 880 cities/municipalities.