FIFTY beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Murcia, Negros Occidental availed of the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) farmers training program of the SM Foundation Inc.
Municipal Link Grace Barsabal said the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are part of the 124 total farmers and agriculture students who underwent some three months of training on farming at the Lux Mundi Farm School in Hacienda Binitin in Murcia since January of this year.
“The Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program of SM Foundation Inc. has been going on since 2006 but this is the first time that they partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to involve and allocate 50 slots for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the training program,” Barsabal said.
Jenny Espares, 46, of Brgy. Blumentritt, Murcia is one of the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who completed the training program. A mother of four, Espares received top honors during the graduation ceremony held recently at the Activity Center of SM City-Bacolod for her bountiful produce from her vegetable garden and for maintaining a perfect attendance during the training.
“I’m proud to say that I was able to graduate, that I posted perfect attendance during the entire training even though we are hard up financially… This is my first time to join a training on farming. Yes, I know how to plant but during the training, I was able to learn a lot more and I hope to be able to share what I have learned to my neighbors also,” Espares said in the dialect.
‘KABALIKAT SA KABUHAYAN’
SM Foundation Inc.’s Assistant Vice President Cristie Angeles said the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan farmers training program was conceived by SM Group founder Henry Sy Sr. who thought of a sustainable project that will uplift the living standards of small Filipino farmers.
The program’s main objective is to develop small farmers into self-sustaining families, earning a living from the vegetables and fruits they produce. A number of trained farmers in the past have indirectly become regular suppliers of SM, although majority are earning from the local markets they serve.
The program is supported by Harbest Agri Corp. which provided the students with the seedlings; the Department of Agriculture (DA) which trained them on the propagation of high value vegetables and commercial crops; and the DSWD whose Project Development Officers under the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) provided entrepreneurial workshops.
During the graduation program, the graduates sold their vegetable produce such as lettuce, squash, eggplant and bottle gourds.
The 47th batch of graduates of the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan farmers training program.
The DSWD has been collaborating with other government and non-governmental organizations for the provision of complementary social services for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. Under DSWD’s convergence strategy, beneficiaries are prioritized for gainful employment and sustainable livelihood opportunities.
Such strategy aims to uplift the economic conditions of Pantawid Pamilya for them to ultimately become self-sufficient. (DSWD6/Alma Jornadal-Estember)