CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – Participants in the 188th SM Foundation Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program recently held their harvest festival in Brgy. Sampiruhan, a few meters from Laguna de Bay.
The members of the 188th batch were taught rural and urban farming. A portion of the laboratory farm was used for urban farming where vegetables were planted in reusable containers. Participants came from Brgys. Bagong Kalsada, Bubuyan, Bunggo, La Mesa, Laguerta, Lecheria, Looc, Majada, Palingon, Palo Alto, Real, San Cristobal, Sirang Lupa and Uwisan. They included marginalized farmers, beneficiaries of the government’s 4Ps program as well as landlords.
According to Cristie Angeles, SM Foundation AVP for Outreach and Livelihood, when the KSK training program was launched, its participants were solely from the marginalized sector. Through the years, innovations had to be introduced to make the training program more viable and sustainable. Thus, three years ago, the training program was opened to landowners as well. “We needed someone among the participants to consolidate them, someone they can look up to as some sort of idol,” This is very crucial, especially when the training is over.