CABANATUAN CITY -- Some 73 farmers from Bongabon in Nueva Ecija province recently completed a training on agriculture touching mainly on organic farming and "agripreneurship."

The agri-training is part of Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program of the SM Foundation Incorporated (SMFI).

The foundation stressed that “if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

SMFI executives, led by Assistant Vice President Cristie Angeles, said the foundation believes in this saying, as it touches the lives of farmers across the country through its KSK for sustainable agriculture program.

On March 11, 2022, farmers from from barangays Peza and Ariendo in Bongabon graduated from 14-week long agri-training program.

Angeles said the program does not end on their graduation. She said it is just a start for their continuous support. “Gusto naming kayong makitang magtagumpay at ito ang inyong simula.”

Ian Ezekiel Balao, SM regional operations manager, said SM will also provide more opportunities to KSK graduates through the upcoming KSK Pop-up Booth where farmers may sell their produce.

“We are opening our doors to ensure the productivity and sustainability to support in uplifting our farmers' way of living through this KSK Pop-Up Booth. This program component did not only ensure food security of SM customers but it also provided economic opportunities during this challenging time” said Balao.

To boost this multi-stakeholder approach, SMFI strengthened its partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in 2019.

This program provided scholarship grants focusing on Organic Agriculture Production NCII and Agricultural Crop Production NCII to almost 1,500 KSK beneficiaries nationwide.