VEGGIES. Batch 216 trainees harvest fruits… er, vegetables, of their labor. Contributed Photo
STA. ANA, Pampanga – Over 220 trainees of the SM Foundation’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) Farmers’ Training Program – Batch 216 successfully capped their 12-week training program with a bountiful harvest festival and a graduation ceremony on December 17 and 18 here.
Through the KSK, farmers were equipped with knowledge on sustainable farming technologies to help them bring food on their table and create economic opportunities for them and their families.
Unlike the previous batches, Batch 216 was divided into six sites – at the regular KSK training site in San Isidro, Sta. Ana; in four sites for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)- Organic Agriculture Production NC II in Sto. Rosario, Sta. Ana; Anon, Floridablanca; in Sitio Pidpid and Sapang Uwak, Porac, all in Pampanga; and one site for TESDA-Agri-Crop Production NC III in Bamban, Tarlac.
To date, 24 trainees from Sitio Pidpid and 22 trainees from Barangay Anon have already passed TESDA’s assessment for Organic Agriculture Production NCII. Trainees from other sites are yet to take TESDA’s assessment.
Launched at the St. Isidore “The Farmer” Learning Center, Inc. in Sta. Ana, Pampanga last September 17, 2019, Batch 216 was the first product of the collaboration between SM Foundation, TESDA, Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, Pampanga State Agricultural University, St. Isidore “The Farmer” Learning Center Inc., SM Supermalls, and SM Markets.
Since its inception in 2007, the KSK Farmers’ Training Program has trained more than 23,000 farmers and still continues to accommodate more from urban and rural communities.