TACLOBAN CITY-To empower the marginalized farmers with updated agricultural farm technology on high value crops so that they can produce a bountiful harvest even on a limited space, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) commits to continue the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers Training (KSK-FT) that the SM Foundation has implemented in Tanauan, Leyte. The DSWD committed that they will continue what they have started in Tanauan using their own module under their livelihood program, Neny Regino of the SM Foundation said. She also said that the livelihood program of the DSWD has a module on social preparation which includes teaching the farmers on how to sell their products and handle their money. The DSWD has helped the SM Foundation to enhance their livelihood programs such as the social preparation in the farmers training. Before, The SM Foundation does not have any partnership with the DSWD but now that they joined the foundation in this endeavor. “We have realized that the social preparation is a big help to the program” Regino said.

She emphasized that without the DSWD, the social preparation will not be included in their program. “The farmers must know not just the proper way of planting but also the right way of selling their production and handling their money,” Regino said. With the module on social preparation of the DSWD, Regino said that their farmer- beneficiaries under the KSK-TF has become more interested for they will know many things not just planting and harvesting. On the other hand, the SM Foundation has coordinated with the local government unit of Tanauan to help the 108 farmer-beneficiaries under the program in finding business establishment that will buy their agricultural products that they will produce. The KSK-FT is a program the will provides farmers with more effective ways of producing high yielding fruits and vegetables. The program is much like backyard farming, only it is enhanced by new technology to produce better results. It is a 12-step program that teaches farmers seed culture and propagation, irrigation and fertilizer application, among other skills. The KSK-FT is a joint undertaking of SM Foundation with the private sector and government agencies. (RYAN GABRIEL LLOSA ARCENAS)