It is always gratifying to note that big companies continue to help small farmers to improve their livelihood in a number of ways.
Examples are Pilmico, the food subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Resources and the SM Foundation of the big chain of malls and supermarkets. Pilmico has been pursuing its “Mahalin Pagkaing Atin” program through its distribution of what it calls “egg machines,” piglets for fattening, and bakery starter kits.
SM Foundation, on the other hand, has been pursuing its KSK or Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan program of training farmers on how to grow vegetables and other high-value crops.
Very recently, Pilmico and Aboitiz Foundation donated 30 piglets, 10 egg machines and three starter bakery kits to 28 beneficiaries in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. These donations are designed to help the beneficiaries to become more entrepreneurial so that they can improve their income on a sustained basis.
Fifteen families were recipients of two piglets each for them to fatten. Feeds good for one cycle consumption were donated with the piglets. Hopefully, when the two piglets have been fattened up to 80 kilos or more, they will be sold and the proceeds will all go to the recipient family. With the proceeds, they can buy a new set of piglets to raise so they will have continuing source of income. They can even buy more piglets using their income so they will be able to produce even higher income.
The same is true with the 10 recipients of the egg machines. Each set consists of 48 layers complete with one month’s consumption. What’s good about the layers is that they can provide income for the family on a daily basis. Some of the eggs could be consumed by the family members for better nutrition while the rest could be sold and the proceeds saved for eventual investment in more layers.
Each of the bakery starter kits consists of one-deck four-tray bread oven, bread rack, working table, delivery bike and 10 bags of flour. The package will enable the local farmers to sustain their livelihood through an easy-to-manage business with a quick return on investment, despite the threats of poverty, tragedy or conflict.
The Pilmico project was started in mid 2014. To date, Pilmico has already donated a total of 1,126 piglets, 333 egg machines and 27 bakery starter packages as well as assisted 14 agri-posts where beneficiaries received feedbags as start-up capital. The feedbags can be sewn into different finished products.
Pilmico’s Mahalin Pagkaing Atin Food and Livelihood expo was held at the Laguna Sports Complex in the capital town of Sta. Cruz last November 8, witnessed by about 400 attendees, including some OFW repatriates who are needing livelihood assistance.
“We go around the country to promote backyard farming because we believe in the potential of our Filipino farmers to be a successful Partner for Growth. We hope that these piglets, egg machines and bakery kits will serve as the right tools to enable our farmers to develop sustainable livelihoods in the years to come,” said Sabin M. Aboitiz, Pilmico president and CEO.