AMID the “COVID-19 pandemic” and exodus of rural people to urban centers and foreign lands, it’s heartening to know that the private sector continues to support efforts to help the farmers.
Many of the country’s population, now numbering more than 100 million, work and live in the impoverished countryside, where the poorest of the poor find it hard to eat three times a day.
That’s why, we commend the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), headed by Ramon S. Ang, for coming up with programs aimed at helping people whose cash and livelihood depend on agriculture.
Aside from purchasing corn and cassava from local farmers, the SMC, through its food division San Miguel Foods, also participates in other initiatives to help the country’s agricultural sector.
The initiatives include SMC’s partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to open “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” stores in Metropolitan Manila (MM) and putting up the “Better World Diliman.”
The stores at Petron Gas Stations enable farmers to sell their fresh produce to more consumers, while “Better World Diliman” is a market where farmers’ excess produce are sold at lower prices.
The SMC has also completed the construction of new modern feed mills as part of its program to buy more locally-produced corn in the future, particularly from Isabela, Pangasinan and Mindanao.
The new facilities, equipped with large silos with aerators, are capable of stockpiling and storing corn and other grains for a year, said the SMC president and chief operating officer.
Admittedly, private companies, like SMC, have no legal responsibility to help the country’s farmers.
But SMC, a multinational publicly listed conglomerate holding company, has not shown any sign of backing it from its commitment to play a stellar role in the gigantic task of nation-building.