Anchored in its commitment to help farmers attain food sufficiency, sustainable livelihood, entrepreneurial development, and market linkages, SM Foundation, in partnership with the local government units of Marilao, Baliwag, Pulilan, and San Jose Del Monte, the Department of Agriculture (DA), DSWD, TESDA, DOST, DTI, DOT, D’ Planners Training Center Inc., as well as SM Supermalls, recently launched the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Sustainable Agriculture Program in Bulacan.
With its vision to bring back hope by directly working with farmers, SM Foundation’s KSK will benefit a total of 100 beneficiaries from selected barangays in Marilao, Baliwag, Pulilan, and San Jose Del Monte. The trainees will undergo 14-week coaching conducted hand in hand by assigned trainers, government agencies, and SM Supermalls. The training will focus on several facets of farming, including land preparation, seedling, fertilizer concoction, sustainability workshops and forums, financial literacy and bookkeeping, pricing and costing, as well as product development.
While Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan training in Baliwag, Pulilan, and San Jose Del Monte will focus mainly on rural farming, trainees in Marilao will undergo urban farming, a technique designed to maximize the limited space for food production and sustainability. It targets providing low-income urban communities with essential skills in high-value crop farming by transforming underutilized urban spaces into productive gardens.
During the KSK launch in Barangay Sulivan in Baliwag City, Ms. Elenita Hernandez of the Agriculture Office stressed that the extensive phases of implementation and the inter-agency mentorship value chain of the KSK project will widely benefit farmers. “Napakaganda pong oportunidad ng proyektong ito para sa ating mga farmers upang mas lalong yumabong ang kanilang kaalaman, hindi lamang sa pagtatanim, kundi maging sa ibang aspeto tulad ng marketing, at iba pa,” shares Hernandez.
This year’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Sustainable Agriculture Program in Bulacan will run until January 2024. From 2007 to 2022, the SM Foundation’s KSK was able to train 28,550 farmers, of whom 917 are from Bulacan. Overall, a total of 916 municipalities and cities around the country benefited from the said project.