Almost two years after Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) devastated the Visayas region, survivors in Tacloban still struggle to rebuild their lives, more specifically their livelihood. As a continued effort to help rehabilitate the area, SM Foundation recently concluded its 90th Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan training in Sta. Elena, Tacloban, training 167 farmers, from 15 barangays, in effective and sustainable agriculture.
The SM group, in partnership with Banco de Oro (BDO) Foundation, will be planting 10,000 trees in Antipolo, Rizal as part of its Grow A Million Trees (GAMT) campaign.
This project is being undertaken by BDO Foundation, SM Supermalls, SM Development Corporation, SM Investments Corporation, SM Markets, SM Foundation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the people’s organization (PO) Sitio San Ysiro Upland & Lowland Farmers Association, Inc. in Antipolo.
More than 100 farmers including Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries will join a 3-month farmers training in Cauayan, Isabela under the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) Sustainable Agriculture Program of the SM Foundation. Launched last July 7, the KSK farmers training will be conducted every Friday starting July 17, 2015.
SM Foundation started conducting its farmers’ training program in six areas for the second half of 2015. The program targets to train over 700 additional farmers in sustainable backyard farming by the end of the year for a total of over 2,000 farmer-graduates for 2015.
After SM Foundation conducted its sustainable agriculture program Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) farmers’ training in the Yolanda-stricken (international name: Haiyan) area of Iloilo in 2014, a total of 230 farmer-graduates re-entered society with renewed hope.
SM Foundation’s sustainable agriculture program teaches farmers effective farming
Farming was farthest from Lemie Leonida’s mind back in 2009 when she retired from teaching Math after 21 years at Lambunao National High School in Iloilo. Leonida, 53, said she looked to other sources of income after Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) literally swept away her husband’s sand and gravel business in 2013.
When SM Foundation launched its first Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program in Bacolod, it was envisioned to provide marginal farmers knowledge on the proper vegetable and fruit cultivation using modern technology and organic fertilizers sans the use of pesticides. The end objective was to bring nutritious food to every table of the participants.
One hundred and eighteen (118) farmers from San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan capped off their 12-week training under SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program with a harvest festival on May 28.
SM Foundation’s sustainable agriculture program strengthens farmers’ knowledge in backyard farming
President Benigno Aquino presented the ‘Outstanding Exemplar in the Private Sector’ award to Tessie Sy-Coson for SM Foundation’s programs in education, health and wellness, and livelihood during the annual media Bulong-Pulungan Christmas party event at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila last December 11. The ‘Outstanding Exemplar’ award is given yearly to people from both the government and private sector who have made great contributions in nation-building.
Nestled in between luxurious green lawns and posh residential units of Belle Corporation’s Tagaytay Highlands is a 5,000 square meter of open land where 102 graduating Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan farmers proudly showcase the fruits of their 12-week training under SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) Farmers Training Program. This 111th KSK training is done in partnership with Belle Kaagapay, Belle Corporation’s social responsibility arm.