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SMC helps boost incomes for local corn farmers, direct buys reach P23.9B from 2020 to date

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — — San Miguel Corporation (SMC), through its food unit San Miguel Foods, has purchased over 1.3 million metric tons of corn amounting to P23.9 billion from farmers nationwide since 2020 to date.

This is part of the company’s continuing initiative to source raw materials for its food products directly from local growers to help boost farm incomes, reduce the country’s dependence on imports, and help achieve food self-sufficiency.

The program, launched in 2020, is designed to benefit farmers from all over the country. Initially, it covers 13 provinces that include Batangas, Bicol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Isabela, Ormoc, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zamboanga, with plans to expand by the end of the year.

“Through this program, we are assured of local corn supply for our food business while our local farmers are guaranteed a steady market and fair prices for their crops. Buying directly from them boosts their income and keeps their livelihood sustainable,” SMC president and CEO Ramon S. Ang said.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, San Miguel Foods purchased over 500,000 metric tons or 500 million kilos of corn to help farmers in various provinces affected by quarantine protocols and supply chain disruptions that saw their produce going to waste.

Isabela province farmer Marjorie Gante said that SMC’s local corn buying program has given her and her family a renewed sense of security. “Nang dahil po sa programa ng San Miguel, hindi na po kami natatakot mag-ani o maglabas ng aming produkto dahil sigurado po kaming may pagdadalhaan ito. Hindi katulad dati na kung saan-saan pa kami naghahanap ng buyer at walang kasiguraduhan na maganda ang presyuhan at magiging maayos ang systema ng pagbayad sa amin.”

Meanwhile, Emity Durog, who has been farming for 20 years, says the program saves them time, effort and resources, as they no longer have to travel to different towns to sell their corn.

Violeta Develos, a generational farmer from South Cotabato, for her part, expressed gratitude to the company for coming up with such program and its consistent payment scheme.

“Maraming salamat po San Miguel dahil sa inyong programa, kaming mga magsasaka ng mais ay nakadama ng pagpapahalaga at wala pang kumpanya ang nakakagawa nito. Mabilis pa ang bayad nakukuha na namin nang direkta ang pera.”

The direct corn buying program is just among several initiatives SMC continues to implement to support farmers and the agricultural sector nationwide.

SMC also locally sources other raw materials used by its businesses such as cassava, through its cassava assemblers’ program, and poultry, with the help of contract growers.

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke in 2020, SMC opened Better World Diliman, a ready market for excess produce bought from farmers at better-than-farmgate prices, and sold to consumers and resellers for low prices. To date, Better World Diliman has rescued over 1.7 million kilograms of vegetables from farmers.

Additionally, in partnership with Gawad Kalinga’s School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED), SMC has provided over P2M worth of scholarships to underprivileged youth in Sumilao, Bukidnon.

The program enables farmers’ children to complete a TESDA-accredited agri-business course and serves as a model for rural development through education. (UnliNews Online)

Manny D. Balbin
Manny D. Balbinhttp://unlinews.org
Emmanuel "Manny" Dineros Balbin, founder and editor-in-chief of UNLINEWS ONLINE and UNLINEWS Digital Newspaper, is a former seminarian of Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) in Notre Dame University Seminary in Cotabato City. Graduated college with Philosophy and Political Science courses at the University of Santo Tomas, Legazpi City. A former Journal Group of Publication (People's Journal, People's Tonight, Taliba & Women's Journal) staffer for 17 years. Before, he simultaneously contributed news articles to 3 local newspapers in Bulacan (NewsCore, MetroNews & NewsWatcher). He is the founder and the former editor-in-chief of RONDA Balita, both in weekly newspaper and online news. A former Kabayan provincial reporter, 2010 Bulacan election correspondent by Rappler and presently, a stringer of Philippine News Agency (PNA) Bulacan.
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