Aboitiz Group, through its social development arm Aboitiz Foundation and AboitizPower subsidiary Hedcor and partners MayaniPH and ‘Save the Children’, has launched a collaborative initiative that targets to alleviate hunger among impoverished children while bringing sustainable livelihood to Benguet farmers.
Called ‘Byaheng Digiskarte,’ the initiative aims to elevate and modernize farming in the country by helping farmers reach consumers through e-commerce.
The donation campaign is centered on ‘nutritional boxes’ containing various fresh produce sourced from the farmers of Sinacbat Farmers Association in Bakun, Benguet.
Each nutritional box will go straight to the Save The Children Philippines’ beneficiaries in areas initially identified, including Navotas and Samar.
The nutritional boxes, which are offered in ‘starter,’ ‘junior,’ or ‘family’ packs and only costs between P50 to P260, contain a wide variety of fresh vegetables from Benguet such as potato, bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, green peas, ginger, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, and broccoli, among others.
Under the ‘Byaheng Digiskarte’ initiative, the farmers underwent a series of mentoring sessions to improve their digital skills. The program is divided into three tracks and supplemented with elective courses. The farmers were taught how to maximize the use of digital tools, primarily to help bring their produce to a wider market.
“Many agri-based enterprises took the hardest brunt of the pandemic and those that are now taking small steps to recovery are struggling to adjust to the ‘contactless environment.’ Through digital technology, they find ways to bring their products to the market,” Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth Marasigan said.
Benguet-based AboitizPower subsidiary Hedcor spearheads the implementation and monitoring of ‘Byaheng Digiskarte’ in Bakun, Benguet and provides guidance to the farmer-beneficiaries.
“Hedcor helps showcase Benguet local produce through unhampered farm-to-market transactions especially to our Sinacbat farmers despite pandemic restrictions. We advance our host communities with sustainable projects, as we continue to keep the lights on with our clean and renewable energy,” said Hedcor President and COO Rolando Pacquiao.
These enterprising individuals overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic by using mobile phones, the internet, social media, and e-commerce platforms such as Mayani, which has been empowering and providing sustainable market access to over 23,000 smallholder farmers.
“Agriculture and the food we derive from it have always been at the centerpiece of the fight for hunger and malnutrition. We partnered with the Aboitiz Foundation and Save the Children Philippines out of this strong mission convergence,” said MayaniPH CEO and Co-Founder JT Solis.
Mayani onboards the Benguet farmers being assisted by the Aboitiz Foundation and the platform provides them a stable sales channel for their produce, while mobilizing shared communities to donate those vegetable boxes to Save the Children Philippines’ target areas.