|Persons with disability in Rosales, Pangasinan are given
opportunity to grow fruits and vegetables in the vacant
spaces at the SM City Rosales.
We just learned for the first time that there is another advocacy that is being undertaken by the SM Group of companies. Of course, we are very familiar with the very successful Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program that has been ongoing for the last five years, training hundreds of farmers to produce high-value, high-quality vegetables and other crops.
The new advocacy is giving opportunity to persons with disability (PWD) so they can become productive and also attain self respect and be proud of their achievement.
The SM Program on Disability Affairs has been training persons with disabilities to plant and grow vegetables so that they can earn additional income for their families.
SM has given PWDs in Rosales, Pangasinan, the freedom to use and manage an undeveloped portion of SM City Rosales property for planting vegetables and other crops. It also provided a space in the mall premises in order for the farmers to sell their produce directly to SM customers through the Farm-to-Market project of the company.
According the company’s release, giving PWDs convenient access and priority to everything are SM’s way of caring for the disadvantaged persons. All these initiatives have transformed its business environment into a community of opportunities open to PWDs to show their abilities above their disabilities, and environment friendly to entrepreneurial and livelihood programs.
Other big companies with their own corporate social responsibility programs should think of projects that are sustainable in the long run. One example would be a big food company that will put up a processing plant for sweet corn growers, for instance. The company will teach the farmers in a cluster of communities to produce sweet corn for canning and for making other products such as corn juice which we had the opportunity to taste in Thailand. This is just one example. There could be many other possibilities.