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BOUNTIFUL HARVEST. Farmers harvest variety of vegetables and other crops which they raised in a demonstration farm in Barangay Tuyo, Balanga City, Bataan on Thursday (May 30, 2019). They underwent a 12-week training under the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program. (Photo by Ernie Esconde)

BALANGA CITY, Bataan — A total of 118 farmers in this province capped off their 12-week training under the SM Foundation’s “Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan” farmers’ training program, with a harvest and cooking festival on Thursday.

Farmer leader Arthur Olivera said this is to showcase the vegetable and other crops they raised on a one-hectare demonstration farm in Barangay Tuyo, this city, where the festival was also held.

Olivera said among the vegetables and fruits they planted in March were finger chili, bottle gourd (upo), eggplant, okra, tomato, kangkong, squash, ampalaya, honeydew, melon, and watermelon.

“SM Foundation, with the help of Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, provided the vegetable seeds. We, the farmers studied for three months the proper techniques on farming and we will apply this in our own farms,” he said.

Olivera belongs to five groups of 118 farmers under the “Kaanib Program of Balanga City” and attended the “Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan” training program, which teaches seed culture and propagation, irrigation and fertilizer application, effective backyard planting and small-scale farming techniques for fruits and vegetables with the cultivation of high yielding vegetables.

He said they also held the cooking festival to taste the crops they planted and harvested. Prepared were pakbet, bola-bola, kare-kareng gulay, adobong gata and chicken with tanglad sa buho.

“The Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan is a big help to our farmers for them to have a big production of vegetables and different variety of crops. From the start of planting up to selling, our partner SM Foundation will help us,” City Agriculturist Nerissa Mateo said.

Mateo said that SM Foundation shelled out considerable amount for the project like farm inputs and the training program.

She said the city government wanted the farmers to practice what they learned, not only for a day but for their entire farming career.

“The program is a big success. From zero income, the farmers have bountiful harvest and now they are selling those yields,” Mateo said.

She also advised the farmers to embrace the program cascaded by the city government for their welfare. (PNA)

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