Market access and limited market information are two main roadblocks to enhanced smallholder farmer income. Farmers in grassroot communities, according to studies, frequently lack access to viable, value-added marketplaces. Farmers struggle to shift their traditional subsistence farms into viable commercially focused production in the absence of crucial supporting activities such as infrastructure and service supply. Buyers, such as wholesalers, have a hard time getting the quantity and quality of produce they want for processing on a timely basis.
Because of this challenge, SM Foundation collaborated with various government agencies, and engaged various SM business units such as the SM Development Corp. (SMDC), SM Supermalls and SM Markets to ensure that local farmers under the Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program have venues where they can sell their produce amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
SMFI, in partnership with other SM business units, exploited the power of collaboration to create farm-market connectivity – a major driver of rural poverty reduction.
Team social good
The Good Guys Market is a weekend market set up in SMDC properties to connect small-scale farmers directly with consumers—condo residents. This initiative links around 26,000 small-scale farmers directly with consumers.
Together with SM Supermalls, SMFI launched the Green Lane initiative. Led by the wives of the KSK farmers, the social enterprise offers a wide variety of quality yet affordable indoor and landscape plants which cater to every enthusiast’s preference. In addition, the team also launched the KSK Farmers’ Market Day to provide farmers with market exposure in select SM Malls nationwide.
Meanwhile, SMFI also partnered with SM Markets in creating market for onion farmers. Through the partnership, SMFI was able to establish specialized onion pop-up booths creating a stable market for small scale onion farmers.
Millions of smallholder farmers are seeking ways to improve the productivity of their farms and to improve their market performance. Modern farming technologies, paired with market linkage, such as the SM KSK, plays a vital role in improving the livelihood of small-scale farmers and their families.
The SM Foundation’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program on sustainable agriculture is SMFI’s Social Good program that aims to improve the lives of Filipinos in grassroot communities through sustainable agriculture through technology transfer, product development, and farm-market linkage. To date, the initiative has trained over 28,500 farmers from over 900 cities and municipalities across the country.