95th Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan launched in Iloilo

7/31/2015 Randomly Candid 0 Comments

A farmer participant, SM City Iloilo Asst. Mall Manager Jasmine Linn Maquiling,
SM Foundation, Inc. Asst. Vice President for Livelihood Cristine Angeles,
Harbest Agribusiness President Arsenio "Toto" Barcelona, Ephratah Farms owner Ed "Bem-Bem Canuto
and SM City Iloilo Public Relations Manager Troy Camarista. Photos below show farmer
participants and SM Supermarket and SM Hypermarket management during the launch.

SM Foundation Inc.(SMFI) launched the 95th batch of Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan farmers training program last July 28, 2015 at Ephratah Farms in Brgy. Sariri, Badiangan, Iloilo.

The program, which aims to help farmers improve and increase their productivity and income through application of modern technology like the use of plastic green house and mulch, use of organic fertilizers and organic pesticides, is initiated by SMFI in collaboration with HARBEST Agribusiness Corporation, the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the local government units.

Over 150 farmers from this province of Iloilo have enlisted to participate in the season-long (3 months) training on high value commercial vegetables production using the modern technology under the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Program.

The training program consists of lectures and hand-on training of the participants using the concept of the Farmers Field School, which is a group-based learning process that incorporates concepts and methods from agro-ecology, experiential education and community development. Participants will meet one whole day once a week for a total of 10 sessions or a span of over 2 months.

HARBEST Agribusiness Corp. will provide the seeds and other inputs including the technology while the DA will provide technical assistance. Ephratah Farms will provide the training venue and the techno demo-site of 5,000 square meters located at the farm’s property which shall serve as field-school for the participants.

SM, with its chain of Hypermarket and Supermarket stores, will serve as the market arm for the successful farmer graduates of this training who will venture into commercial vegetable production. It is also hoped that with this program, local vegetable farmers would be able to produce quality vegetables for the local markets as substitute for vegetables brought in from other areas which are expensive. The Department of Social Welfare and Development will provide the added support to equip the farmers with the right attitude and knowledge to market their produce.

After the season long training, SMFI will hold the Harvest Festival in Ephratah Farms on October 20, 2015 wherein farmer participants will get to harvest their produce. SMFI will hold the farmers graduation at SM City Iloilo the next day. Farmer graduates will also have the chance to exhibit their products in the venue to give them the opportunity to sell to shoppers.

This is the 4th Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan held in Iloilo. In previous years, Sta. Barbara, Leon and Lambunao and neighboring towns in the said areas were the beneficiaries of the said project. (PR)

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