The Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) farmer graduates of SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI) sells their harvested fresh produce such as vegetable, root crops and fruits at the Lower Ground Floor of SM City Tarlac every Friday and at the DTI Trade Fair in the mall every Saturday and Sunday as part of the Sustainable Livelihood Program.
“KSK shifts its activities in helping its graduates by providing market exposure in institutionalized selling”, says Ms. Cristie Angeles, AVP of SMFI Outreach Programs.
She also notes that the scholarship program continues to enhance the skills and encourage its farmer graduates to become entrepreneurs amidst economic challenges, changing weather conditions, and limited planting space and resources.
With the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and other partner agencies, KSK continues to hone the talents of the graduates as well as strengthen their interest in farming by helping them become entrepreneurs through pop up booth activities in participating SM Malls.
DA provides farm inputs, market linkages and other technical support, while DSWD helps in organizing, mobilization of KSK graduates and social preparations. DTI offers entrepreneurial mind-setting, formalizes the business documents of participating farmers, assists in developing farm bi-products and includes KSK farmers in DTI’s related activities.
“We thank SM Foundation for helping us farmers by providing free training and now by accommodating us in marketing our products. It’s a complete cycle of farming, training and marketing”, says Ms. Emma Tolentino, KSK Batch 49 year 2011 and owner Eco Natural Learning Site.
Since 2007, the KSK Program has produced 23,170 farmers trained in high-value crops with a total of 187 farmers’ training sessions. It is SM’s way of giving back to the communities it serves making it one of the pillars of SMFI’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs.