Iloilo farmers train to improve productivity

SM Foundation Inc.(SMFI) launched the 95th batch of Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan farmers training program last July 28, 2015 at Ephratah Farms in Brgy. Sariri, Badiangan, Iloilo with the aim of helping Iloilo farmers improve and increase their productivity and income through the application of modern  technology.

Over 150 farmers from this province of Iloilo have enlisted to participate in the season-long (3 months)  training on  high value commercial vegetables production using the modern technology  under the  Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Program, a collaboration with  HARBEST Agribusiness Corporation, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development the local government units.

The training includes lectures and hands-on training using the Farmers Field School concept, which is a group-based learning process  that  incorporates concepts  and methods  from agro-ecology, experiential education and community development.  This includes the use of the plastic green house and mulch and use of organic  fertilizers and organic pesticides.

HARBEST Agribusiness  Corp. will  provide the seeds and other inputs including the technology while the DA will provide technical assistance. Ephratah Farms will provide the training venue and the techno demo-site of 5,000 square meters located at the farm’s property which shall serve as field-school  for the participants. 

SM, with its chain of Hypermarket and Supermarket stores, will serve as the market arm for the successful Iloilo farmer graduates of this training who will venture into commercial vegetable production. It is also hoped that with this program, local vegetable farmers would be able to produce quality vegetables for the local markets as substitute for vegetables brought in from other areas which are expensive. The Department of Social Welfare and Development will provide the added support to equip the farmers with the right attitude and knowledge to market their produce.

After the season long training, SMFI will hold the Harvest Festival in Ephratah Farms, which is an organic agricultural farm in Badiangan on October 20, 2015 wherein farmer participants will get to harvest their produce. SMFI will hold the farmers graduation at SM City Iloilo the next day.  Farmer graduates will also have the chance to exhibit their products in the venue to give them the opportunity to sell to shoppers.

This is the 4th Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan held in Iloilo. In previous years, Sta. Barbara, Leon and Lambunao and neighboring towns in the said areas were the beneficiaries of the said project./PR

LINKS
SM Foundation
HARBEST Agribusiness  Corp
Ephratah Farms in Facebook
Ephratah Farms Website

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