IN A bid to continuously empower budding and small-scale farmers in the country, the SM Foundation on Tuesday, January 22, launched its first “Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan” program in Mexico town, Pampanga.
At least 150 farmers from different villages in Mexico are set to undergo a rural and urban farmers training program through a comprehensive course in the production of high-value crops and experience actual farming in a vast farmland in Barangay Eden.
The 12-week training, which started Wednesday, January 23, and will end on April 24, will include technical and hands-on trainings in planting fruits and vegetable high-value crops, and social preparation, values formation and capacity building.
To ensure that acquired knowledge will be put into use, the skills training will also include workshops on financial literacy and accounting, and post-project sustainability plan monitoring activities, and a market tour.
SM Foundation Vice-President for Livelihood Cristy Angeles said that the program, which is now on its 12th year, aims to provide assistance to small-scale farmers to improve their production.
She said the foundation partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, the local government of Mexico, and Harbest Agribusiness to provide opportunities to the beneficiaries to develop their skills.
“The SM Foundation together with our partners will always be with you in every step that you take under this program. It may not come easy but as long as we are together, we can surely make a better food production in Mexico,” she said.
Harbest Agribusiness’ Jojo Reantazo, who will facilitate the trainings and workshops, urged beneficiaries to maximize the opportunity given by SM Foundation in uplifting their livelihood.
He reminded beneficiaries to seize every session as each will introduce different topics on how to properly plant and harvest, and the classifications of every high-value crops.
“There is indeed no shortcut in farming, from the preparation of the soil up to the harvest of crops, it will require your patience but I assure you that it will all be worth it. There is really money in agriculture,” he said.