31 August 2016

SM Foundation Hosts Graduation of Tanauan Farmers who Underwent Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Training

The KSK training graduates.

A total of 102 farmers, most of whom are from the City of Tanauan, graduated from the 3-month farming training at SM City Lipa last 31 August 2016. The training, dubbed as “Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan” (KSK) is spearheaded by SM Foundation and is conducted in partnership with Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The farmers were exposed and trained in innovative ways of organic farming through the expertise of Harbest, a company that has been in the agricultural business since 1997. A portion of Tagaytay Midlands in Brgy. Suplang in Tanauan City served as their training ground and farm school for the last three months.

Aside from organic technological advancements in farming, also discussed during the training were vegetable varieties and high-value crops such as lettuce, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, honeydew melons and different varieties of watermelons.

Debby Sy, SM Foundation’s Executive Director harvests Chinese Kankong together with some trainees of Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan. 
Debby Sy, together with Tanauan’s City Agriculturist Rene Cunanan as they harvest long peppers.

A two-day culminating activity started with a harvest festival last 30 August which was attended by SM Foundation’s Executive Director, Debby Sy, who together with the farmer trainees harvested a total of two tons of fruits and vegetables. The harvests were then sold to Tagaytay Midland’s residents and some SM Employees.

The money raised will be used as seed money for the trainees from Brgy. Suplang as they form a legal business entity that can transact with Tagaytay Highlands and SM Supermarkets in Batangas. Tagaytay Midlands through its managing company Belle Corporation will be allotting the said portion of their land for the farming, free of charge.

SM Supermarket SM Lipa Store Manager Rosita Rico, holds orientation among the farmers regarding the business side of farming, its requirements and standards. 
Mall Administration employees of SM City Lipa, buying some of the produce from the KSK training. 

Following the harvest festival was the graduation of farmers, during which several trainees shared their experiences during the training. An inspirational speech was also delivered by Carlzen Diaz from San Pablo City, a KSK alumnus from Batch 92.

A former university professor, Carlzen left his job to do farming. He started off leasing a portion of his neighbour’s farm lands a year ago. He now owns two hectares of farm lands and produces a variety of fruits and vegetables. “Just do what you learn here. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call our trainers,” Carlzen said.

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