Thursday, September 21, 2023

PLDT, Smart team up with youth-led agri orgs, promoting online learning

Residents of San Isidro in Talakag and Macasandig in Cagayan de Oro are the latest recipients of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc.’s (Smart) #PlantSmart kits.

“By creating Kalye Mabunga and putting it online, and distributing PlantSmart kits so that communities can augment their food source, we at PLDT and Smart continue to find technology-based solutions to help achieve a food-secure Philippines,” said Judee Chaves, head of Stakeholder Management - Mindanao Relations at PLDT and Smart.

In collaboration with youth-led agricultural groups – AgriTaBay and Kagay-anon Youth Network Alliance (KAYA NA), the PLDT Group will assist select beneficiaries to jumpstart their vegetable gardening endeavors through the twin initiatives 'Kalye Mabunga', a ten-episode web series on planting fundamentals and techniques, and PlantSmart planting kits. 90 planting kits, each containing loam soil, vegetable seeds, and fertilizers, were provided, to enable recipients to immediately apply what they could learn from the online series and start growing their own food.

AgriTaBay founder Lorence Pacuño shared, “It is good to see telcos like PLDT and Smart championing food security. This is a huge help for AgriTaBay’s mission to encourage communities to do backyard gardening.”

Christian Val Daquipil, Youth Development Officer at the United States Agency for International Development's Opportunity 2.0 Program, collaborates with KAYA NA to champion youth agricultural development. He said, “With this project, we are building the next generation of food producers and sharing with fellow youth and their families the value of growing their own food. Through the help of partners like Kids Who Farm, PLDT, and Smart, we have taught 30 families the basics of hydroponics and provided start-up kits for their home gardens.”

PLDT and Smart seek to uplift and improve the overall physical and mental wellness of Filipinos through programs that ensure food security, improve nutrition, and create awareness online. These projects also emphasize their commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG No. 2: Zero Hunger, and SDG No.3: Good Health and Well-Being.

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