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SMC increases local corn farmers’ earnings through direct purchases.

Since 2020, San Miguel Corporation (SMC), through its food division San Miguel Foods, has bought more than 1.3 million metric tons of corn from farmers around the country for a total of PHP23.9 billion.

This is a part of the business’s ongoing commitment to purchase food items raw ingredients directly from regional farmers to raise agricultural incomes, lessen the nation’s reliance on imports, and promote food self-sufficiency.

Farmers from all throughout the nation will profit from the initiative when it begins in 2020. With intentions to expand by the end of the year, it initially serves 13 provinces, including Batangas, Bicol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Isabela, Ormoc, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zamboanga.

Through this initiative, our local farmers have ensured a constant market and fair pricing for their crops, and we are assured of a supply of local corn for our food company. Purchasing from them directly increases their income and ensures the sustainability of their way of life, according to a statement from Ramon S. Ang, president and chief executive officer of SMC.

To assist farmers in several provinces afflicted by quarantine procedures and supply chain disruptions that resulted in their crops going to waste at the height of the epidemic in 2020, San Miguel Foods bought more than 500,000 metric tons or 500 million kilos of maize.

According to farmer Marjorie Gante of Isabela province, SMC’s local maize procurement initiative has rekindled her and her family’s sense of security.

“Nang dahil po sa programa ng San Miguel, natatakot kami mag-ani at maglabas ng aming producto dahil sigurado po kaming may pagdadalhan ito. We’re no longer frightened to grow and harvest because of the San Miguel program, so long as the buyer is willing to pay for it and there are no obstacles standing in the way of the presyuhan and the payment system in my case. Unlike in the past when we would have to go to different places to find buyers, and there was no guarantee as to whether prices would be good, or if we could get paid appropriately), we are confident there is a market for our items, Gante added.

According to 20-year farmer Emity Durog, the scheme saves them time, effort, and resources because they no longer need to drive to several places to sell their maize.

A third-generation farmer from South Cotabato, Violeta Develos, thanked the company for creating the program and its reliable payment structure.

“Thank you very much, San Miguel, for this program. Your members are nakadama on the pagpapahalaga, and there is no kumpanya in the list of things to be made available. Thank you, San Miguel. Mabilis pa ang bayad nakukuha na namin nang direkta ang pera. No other company has made corn growers feel valued the way you program has made us feel. We receive the money immediately and payments are prompt, according to Develos.

SMC continues to carry out a number of programs, including the direct corn buying program, to assist farmers and the agricultural industry nationally.

Other raw commodities used by SMC’s enterprises, such as poultry with the aid of contract growers and cassava through its cassava assemblers’ program, are also sourced locally.

SMC developed Better World Diliman, a ready-market for surplus goods bought from farmers at better-than-farmgate rates and offered to consumers and resellers cheaply when the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic broke in 2020.

Over 1.7 million kg of veggies has been saved from farmers through Better World Diliman until this point.

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