PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. continue to empower small-holder farmers in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Building on their earlier engagement with rice growers in Floridablanca, Pampanga, PLDT and Smart turned over one unit of water pump for irrigation and ten knapsack sprayers to the local government unit through the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO). These tools will be used by small-scale farmers in the municipality.
“Farmers are an integral part of our community as they help ensure we have food on the table. Unfortunately, they are also among the most marginalized. That’s why PLDT and Smart regularly work with local government units to support them in these challenging times,” said Stephanie Orlino, Smart Assistant Vice President and Head of Community Relations.
Floridablanca Municipal Agriculturist Myrna De Vera said that these tools will greatly benefit local farmers, “The water pump will help ensure that farmers have access to a stable water supply especially in the summer months.”
De Vera added that small-holder farmers were greatly impacted by the global public health crisis because the fear of getting infected hindered them from working on their fields. Compounding this problem are the steadily rising prices of farm inputs.
The local municipal agriculture officer is grateful that PLDT and Smart have stepped in to assist the town’s rice growers.
“Majority of farmers in Floridablanca face financial difficulties. The LGU can only do so much to assist them. It is a huge boost to our farmers when private companies like PLDT and Smart extend help to augment our local agriculture programs,” she said.
The farm equipment aid champions the Group’s core value of ‘malasakit’ or compassion. The donation follows PLDT and Smart’s earlier engagement with the community where they extended P100,000 worth of capital support from the ‘Buy Local’ sustainability fund as low-interest loans for small-time farmers.
The #FarmSmart program including the ‘Buy Local’ initiative resides under Smart’s framework of Technology for Development that aims to narrow down the digital divide. The program is also aligned with the commitment of PLDT and Smart to support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, particularly No Poverty (SDG 1), and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8).
To learn about Buy Local and how companies and groups can adopt the program in their respective organizations, please follow FarmSmart on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FarmSmartPH