More than just a farmer education program – Tempo – The country’s fastest growing newspaper

The SM Foundation (SMFI), through its Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan Sustainable Agriculture Program (KSK SAP), aims to reach out to our marginalized grassroots farmers and provide them with best agricultural practices.

The training cycle, which lasted 14 weeks, was conducted on site and with the help of training modules. And to enrich each trainee’s on-site skill set, each participant is allocated 100 sq. empiricaltraining in land preparation, proper seed sowing, transplanting, plastic mulching and harvesting, among others.

KSK demo site in Bongabon-Nueva Ecija

In addition to training in agricultural production, they were also assisted in establishing links with promising markets and establishing cooperatives.

SM KSK SAP is committed to promoting agricultural entrepreneurship, community empowerment, food security and technology advancement. Program partners are the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), St Isidore The Farmer Learning. Center Inc and local governments.

Catalyst for change

Behind every SM Foundation KabalikatsaKabuhayan (KSK) farmer training program are trainers who selflessly share their skills and time so that at the end of the training program, participants will have the knowledge and methods to cultivate their land more productively.

Dedicated KSK instructors solve transportation problems just to be at the demo site.

Marlon S. Capsitrano was an instructor for the recently completed KSK SAP 227 series in Nueva Ecija. He holds a BA in Agriculture and is also a TESDA Instructor.

According to him, his wards are diligent and hardworking,”Masipage in masipage estudyantesa Tamale. Contemplating “jung point on halo” di mo na force maawat dahil sa zeal Nila Dahil ang Sabi Nila Palagi walang nagsisimula sa mataas back. Naninivala force that never rested on its laurels.

He shared that it was not easy to get to the agro-demonstration plot. It takes almost an hour to get to Sitio Tamale, which includes crossing a river, three streams and a mountain. In addition to the unpredictable climate in the highlands, there is the challenge of a pandemic.

He is grateful for the support of the municipal government of Bongabon in providing a company car. “Hindi kasi makakadaan ng regular sasakyan is just one of the NDRRMO truck names,” he said.

He considers it a privilege to be a part of KSK SAP Batch 227 and shared that many farmers still need this kind of training. “Ito yong masasabi ko ALL IN ONE na karanasan sa agrikultura”.

KSK under the Sustainable Agriculture Program (SAP) Package 227-A and B was held in Sitio Tamale, Barangay Digmala, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. The training was attended by 50 participants consisting of members of the indigenous community, 4P beneficiaries and other farmers.

Meanwhile for the KSK 226-A batch at Sitio Sapangmunti, Brgy. San Mateo, Norzagarai, Bulacan, which also culminated in the last month, Kevin D.S. was the lead coach. Vitankol is a licensed agronomist.

With a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Bulakan State Agricultural College, he has attended several workshops on rice and seeds and farm mechanization, agricultural production, organic farming and good agricultural practices, among others. He was assisted by Eddy B. Als, who works for the Municipal Department of Agriculture of San Miguel, Bulacan, and a volunteer at the Norzagaray Multipurpose Cooperative Municipal Officer.

Key takeaways from the program

In addition to learning basic and advanced farming practices, the training program also provided participants with the opportunity to improve their interpersonal skills.

KSK participants will learn how to make organic fertilizer.

According to Adelaide Hypol, one of KSK’s trainees in Nueva Ecija, the program taught her the value of teamwork, solidarity and camaraderie. “Dahil sa KSK, Hindi, ako natuto ngga gaongong paraan sa pagsasaka, topakita din ng programang ito sa amin ang importansya ng pagtutulungan, pagkakaisa, at pakikisama”.

“The KSK curriculum that helps you learn. Kailangan nating magkaroon ng positibong isipan at pagtitiwala sa sarili”, said Estela Ibale, another KSK graduate.

When asked what was the most important lesson she learned from the training, KSK Batch 226-A participant Selina Balasoto replied: “The best way is akin to what you need, that’s what you need. Bigyang halaga ang oras and panahon ang mga ginagawa at kung paano mo ito mai-a-apply sa your buhay and kung paano ito pagyayamanin upang sa ganuon may mai-angat mo antas ng pamumuhay sa tulong ng bawat natutunan mosa programa.”

Bantai Gubat Ron Louis R. Cruz and his wife Rochelle, grateful for the training, now grow vegetables for their own consumption.

Their message to future KSK members:Improve the quality of KSK Training – train to learn more and better understand what you are doing and train with anyone else. Basta gawin mo nang maayos ang lahat ng ituturo sa iyo ng inyong Trainor, kaya payo ko sa all gustong makilahok sa KSK Training y makipag-kaisa kaho dahil maganda ng Dalang oportunidad ng kanilang training. ”