Four farming communities in the Municipality of La Libertad in Negros Oriental have been reached by the sustained collaboration between PLDT Inc. and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc., Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK), PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF), and Huawei Philippines, to improve farmer-entrepreneurs’ digital skills to boost their livelihood.
To support ARK’s Arkita-Kita program which seeks to provide budding entrepreneurs with basic business skills that will empower them to pursue their own businesses, PLDT and Smart, PSF and Huawei have formally turned over smartphones to ARK’s local managers and storytellers, and distributed 5G-powered SIM cards to farmer-entrepreneurs.
“We in PLDT-Smart Foundation have always tried to find ways to support our farmers. We hope that with these smartphones, our farmers can reach their buyers and improve their income. We also thank partners like Huawei Philippines who share this aspiration,” said Esther O. Santos, President of PLDT-Smart Foundation.
Apart from this, the group has cascaded their Digital Literacy Program to farmers in Barangays Cangabo, Elecia, Kansumandig and South Poblacion. These farmers were upskilled with basic knowledge on mobile photography, social media and agricultural apps, social media marketing, and internet safety—to help increase salability of their produce and reach more buyers online.
“Technology is a very important tool for our farmers, and we must teach them better ways to access information and linkages that could help them with their livelihood. On behalf of the Municipality of La Libertad, we thank PLDT Group and Huawei for their support,” said Hon. Emmanuel Iway, Municipal Mayor of La Libertad.
Smart has also offered retailer SIM cards to interested participants of the training to provide them with other livelihood opportunities.
“To solve hunger for good is not easy but it is possible. It is made possible when we work together and have great partners. In Smart, we have a partner who sincerely wants communities to be food secure, loves the simplicity and smartness of ARK’s Feed Back vegetable exchange, and is committed to solving together,” said Ayesha Vera Yu, Co-Founder of ARK.
PLDT and Smart’s partnership with like-minded organizations has reinforced its commitment to achieve the United Nations Sustainability Development Goal No. 1 No Poverty, and Goal No. 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.