DA, SM joinforces to train farmes to boost vegetable production
The Department of Agriculture (DA) signed on Monday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI) for a collaboration on training farmers to produce high-yielding vegetables.
In the MOA, the parties said the nationwide program targets to provide “hands-on and season-long training on vegetable farming for poor farmers to produce better quality and high-yielding vegetables.”
According to an article from the website Natural ON, some of the high-yielding vegetables are cucumber, squash, beans, tomatoes, peanuts, leaf lettuce, sunflowers, quinoa, kale, potato, and sweet potatoes.
A document provided to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday stated that SMFI has tapped Harbest Agribusiness Corp. (HAC) and Macondray Philippines Company, Inc. (MPCI) to conduct the training of the farmers.
Under the agreement, SMFI will provide the funding for the training program; coordinate with partners and beneficiaries, such as host local government unit, farmers, and agriculturists; provide a representative in the preparatory and implementation works for each site; help in disseminating information to other potential beneficiaries through mass media, publication, and seminars; and organize the project launch with the beneficiaries and harvest festival during the graduation ceremony at nearby SM Malls or other activity centers.
The DA, on the other hand, will provide support by seeking lots to serve as training farms, select 50 farmer participants, assist in replicating applied technology in communities, and assist in reporting to SMFI the outcome of the training program.
The parties further said the program would enhance livelihood opportunities for the farmers’ families and enhance the DA High-Value Crops Development Program for vegetables and fruits.
Last April, SM Foundation similarly launched, in cooperation with the DA and other agencies, a farmers’ training program in San Fernando, Pampanga and Dinalupihan, Bataan.
The project aimed to improve the farmers’ skills in organic farming, and taught them modern methods and technologies for backyard farming by SM’s partner HAC.
For the two batches of trainees, the farmers produced vegetables, such as eggplant, watermelon, honeydew melon, chili, melon, okra, and cucumber. (PNA)