“We believe that the role of women in agriculture is important. Through this initiative, we want to reach more women farmers in the Philippines and assist them with their needs. Backed by our ‘Buy Local’ program, we aim to enable inclusive growth by providing equal opportunities to men and women,” said Cathy Yang, First Vice President and Group Head of Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.
Agriculture is normally one of the hardest hit industries when typhoons sweep through Philippine provinces.
“One of the most heartbreaking truths about farming is that when our lands get flooded due to bad weather, there won’t be enough harvest to sell and to feed our families with. As women and mothers, we face this reality and continue working until the storm passes,” said Marites Vista, a 52-year old farmer from General Tinio.
To help address the challenges faced by the industry, PLDT and Smart’s homegrown advocacy, ‘Buy Local’ aims to help provide farmers with a sure market for their crops. Through ‘Buy Local’, harvested produce from partner farming communities are sold to PLDT and Smart’s employees at a more reasonable cost, through the e-commerce platform Cropital. This generates higher profit, with part of the sales eventually going to a sustainability fund.
Cropital is a crowdfunding platform that aims to link smallholder farmers to alternative sources of funding.
“Women farmers have caught up with changing times and are now able to learn new and improved ways towards sustainable farming. We are thankful for the opportunity to become a part of PLDT and Smart’s initiative that supports local farming communities,” shared 58-year old Felina Rivera, another 'Buy Local’ beneficiary.
To date, PLDT and Smart ‘Buy Local’ has raised over P2M, providing capital support to more than 200 farmers nationwide.
PLDT and Smart prioritize the empowerment of women and communities in their key initiatives. The Group remains committed to helping boost the livelihood and eventually uplift the quality of the lives of Filipino farmers. This is also aligned with the UN SDGs #1 No Poverty and #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.