Tacloban City – It was a fun-filled day as Batch 147 of SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program held a harvest festival in Barangay 99, Diit, Tacloban City.

As the season-long training program came to its culmination, 258 participants attended the harvest festival and related activities, all proud of what they have learned which they consider as tools to sustainable farming and livelihood.

Harbest Agribusiness president Arsenio ‘Toto’ Barcelona (in white shirt) leads the harvesting of fruits and vegetables during the culmination of the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training program in Diit, Tacloban City. With him are farmer-participants and representatives from SM Foundation, which is the primary proponent of the program, along with Harbest and local government units.

This is the second KSK Program in Tacloban intended for typhoon Yolanda survivors; the first one was held in Brgy. Imelda at a demo farm owned by UP. An earlier KSK Program in Tanauan, Leyte, just a few months after typhoon Yolanda struck the region, was held and participated in by residents of municipalities in Northern Leyte. The seminars were held in an effort to give an immediate alternative livelihood source to those who were affected by the typhoon.

Among those who joined the farmers’ training program in Diit were 30 anti-drug advocates as part of their rehabilitation program. Other activities aside from the harvest festival were a market orientation for possible fresh vegetable suppliership to SM SaveMore Tacloban, a cultural program, and a cooking contest using the vegetables harvested.

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s December 2017 issue.