Home News Cagayan Valley Cagayan Farmers harvest first crops in SM’s agri training program

Farmers harvest first crops in SM’s agri training program

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Twenty-one varieties of vegetables were harvested as part of SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Rural Farmer’s Training Program.

Together with Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Tuguegarao City Government, the program ran from July 19 to Friday, October 20.

The program’s 157 farmer trainees from the city’s barangays graduated this Friday, October 21, in SM Center Tuguegarao.

As early as 7 AM, the farmers harvested fresh vegetables such as calabasa, kabatiti, sili, upo, talong, sitaw, ampalaya, and okra and some fruits including watermelon.

SM Foundation Assistant Vice-President for Livelihood and Outreach Programs Christie Angeles said Tuguegarao is among 31 sites chosen for the conduct of the 10-year old program.

Angeles said the farmers will replicate this project to their respective barangays, a move that was discussed with the city government.

“One thing I am so sure of is that our goal for food security, because of the replication of the local government, ay isang malaking hakbang para sa programang ito,” said Angeles.

Following the first harvest, seeds were already sowed in Tuguegarao City’s demo farm and training center. After three months, the farmers will again harvest their second batch of crops.

Cagayan First District Board Member Ma. Olivia Pascual who was among those who harvested the crops lauded SM’s project especially the replication of the practice in LGUs.

“Malaki ang tulong nito dahil mababantayan din ang nutrisyon ng mga kabataan… at ito ay pwede nating palaganapin sa iba’t ibang lugar…Sana ay i-cluster natin ang mga municipalities so we can come up with a project like this para matungan ng ating constituents,” said Pascual who also chairs the provincial board’s nutrition committee.

As Chair of the Regional Tourism Council, Pascual said the project may also help in the development of agri-tourism. “Very timely dahil ito po ay makakapagbigay ng more income sa mga nangangailangan,” added Pascual.

Buyer’s forum

A buyer’s forum was also conducted to discuss how the agri products are to be sold in SM Hypermarket in SM Center Tuguegarao Downtown. The forum will also introduce farmers to SM’s vegetable standards and sustenance.

“That is what we hope for. That is why we wanted them to practice,” said Angeles.

She added that the program also aims for the increase of profit of the trained farmers especially the marginalized and that it also helps sustaining vegetable supply in the city.

Angeles also said DSWD provided entrepreneurship courses for the farmers to make them business oriented.

Meanwhile, she praised the farmers’ commitment and thanked the local government for their support. Angeles hopes that the program will start a farmer’s association. Northernforum.net

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