PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) recently participated in the The Road To Zero Hunger: Partnerships for Inclusive Growth in Agri-Food Systems forum, organized by the United Nations Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP) and the Philippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (PPSA).
“PLDT and Smart continue to offer accessible and inclusive technology to help bridge the digital divide and empower every Filipino towards sustainable growth and development. Through our programs under our ‘FarmSmart’ and ‘PlantSmart’ advocacies, we are able to advance tech-enabled agriculture solutions that support local farmers and boost their livelihood, and promote food security among our partner communities,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, AVP and head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.
Through GCNP’s People Pillar and PPSA’s network of likeminded organizations, this learning session served as an avenue for sharing the best practices in building and nurturing partnerships towards food security and agricultural development in the Philippines.
To ensure sustainability, PLDT and Smart co-develop and implement its livelihood programs agricultural interventions with partners in the government, private sector and social enterprises to help empower farmers through technology.
Since 2019, PLDT and Smart have been collaborating with the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute and the agricultural offices of local government units nationwide for the conduct of the Digital Farmers Program, a ladderized training for smallholder farmers on digital literacy and entrepreneurship.
With eBizNovation, a digital upskilling-to-ecommerce program for agro-enterprises to help expand their market reach and generate more income, PLDT and Smart also work with e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and TikTok Shop, and the Department of Trade and Industry.
PLDT and Smart have also partnered with social enterprises like Cropital, Uproot Urban Farms, FarmVocacy, Peace Crops, and Kids Who Farm to bring agri-related technology and innovation closer to farmers.
Overall, these partnerships have enabled PLDT and Smart to assist over 12,000 farmers nationwide. PLDT, Smart and their partners have trained 7,700 farmers and rural youth on digital technologies, facilitated more than 12 million pesos in sales for over 4,300 farmers, raised 2.9 million pesos in capital support for more than 300 farmers, and built eight edible gardens in Luzon and Mindanao to help provide additional healthy food supply to communities.
The PLDT Group’s agriculture-based partnerships and its participation in the Zero Hunger forum are part of a broader effort to help achieve a food-secure Philippines by empowering the agricultural sector through technology. These also underscore PLDT’s commitment to help in the achievement of the UN SDGs #1 No Poverty and #2 Zero Hunger.