Calamity-stricken Guiuan, Eastern Samar and Tanauan, Leyte are the venues of Kabalikat sa Kabuhyan Farmers’ Training Programs launched recently by SM Foundation.
SM Foundation’s 70th batch of the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan—Farmers Training Program was launched last March 31, 2014 in Brgy. Cogon, Guiuan, Eastern Samar with 100 participants from the barangays Cogon, Timala, Mayana, Banaag, Banahao, Cantahay, Bagua, Lupok, Hagna, Tagporo, Surok, Cagusu-an, Alingarog, and Camparang as well as nearby municipalities of Mercedes and Salcedo.
Guiuan is one of the municipalities in Region VIII badly affected by typhoon Yolanda destroying their main means of livelihood – farming & fishing. To help in their recovery program, SM Foundation brought the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan—Farmers Training Program to Guiuan, a program done in partnership with Harbest Agribusiness Corporation that will introduce advanced technology on the production of fruits, vegetables and high-value crops, as well as teach farmers with entrepreneurial skills, making them self sufficient.
The Department of Agriculture and Department of Social Welfare and Development as well as the Local Government Units were tapped to make the program successful and sustainable.
In Tanauan, Leyte, farmers from Brgy.Pago in Tanauan, Leyte together with guest farmers from Barugo, Leyte started their 12-week-hands-on training on the cultivation of high value crops, fruits & vegetable farming. This will give the farmers opportunity for alternate livelihood inasmuch as coconut farms & rice paddies were completely devastated by the typhoon. Copra & palay are their main means of livelihood. According to Cristie Angeles, SM AVP for Livelihood, 127 farmers from 50 neighboring barangays in Tanauan with 11 farmers from Barugo, Leyte attended the launching & the orientation program given by Harbest Agribusiness Corp., President, Toto Barcelona.
Started in 2007, Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program is a dual technology training in high-value crops in vegetable and fruit farming intended to provide updated agricultural technology to participants thereby empowering them, not only to earn more income but also to be self-sufficient in food. Funding for the training is provided by SM Foundation. Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, a program partner ever since the training program was conceptualized and implemented in Bacolod City provides the manpower and specialists who impart modern techniques in farming in the lecture sessions. They also provide the seedlings used in the actual training at the demo farm provided by the loal government. Capacity building and entrepreneurial skills are also incorporated in the training. The program includes provision for market linkages in cooperation with SM Food Group and Supermalls, the Department of Agriculture, DSWD, local government units and NGOs.
Many of the farmers who finish the training program replicate what they learn in their own farmlots. To meet the increased demand for their produce, some farmers have formed cooperatives. Still others have ventured into agribusiness, becoming regular suppliers to supermarkets.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014