In celebration of World Food Day, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) officially launched the first PlantSmart GrowHub, signifying the Group’s strong commitment to food security and championing sustainability in the Philippines.
Key partners from the Agricultural Training Institute and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the City Government of Makati attended the launch. Cropital, a crowdfunding platform that helps farmers with financing, also joined with one of PLDT and Smart’s Buy Local farmers.
“We thank all our partners who helped conceive, build and actualize the first ever PlantSmart Growhub. Through this collaboration, we underscore our commitment to sustainability and shared value programs to benefit farmers and Filipino communities,” said Cathy Yang, PLDT and Smart FVP and Group Head for Corporate Communications.
A collaboration with social enterprise Uproot Urban Farms, the PlantSmart GrowHub is an office-based edible garden in idle spaces of PLDT and Smart offices. Built at the heart of Makati Central Business District, the first GrowHub is located at the Smart Tower roof deck along Ayala Avenue and aims to bring fresh produce closer to employees. Another GrowHub is sprouting soon at the PLDT and Smart Cagayan de Oro headquarters.
Harvested produce will be offered to employees at a reasonable cost, with proceeds funding the replenishment of farming inputs for the GrowHub. A portion of the sales will also go to the volunteers who manage the GrowHub as additional income.
“We find PLDT and Smart as trailblazers in technology for agriculture. The government can offer our strengths and provide technical assistance to sustain this partnership towards achieving food security,” said Gerald Glenn Panganiban, Officer-in-Charge Director of DA-BPI.
“This is a start. Slowly but surely, our advocacy and movement will grow. We need to keep the organizations’ interests and help educate everyone towards our sustainability efforts,” said Makati City Councilor Ed Marquez, Chair of the Committee on Environment.
PLDT and Smart aim to encourage their neighboring buildings and other urban communities to follow the movement and be a #PlantSmart champion of sustainability through urban gardening. This is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) #2: Zero Hunger, #3: Good Health and Well-Being, #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and #12 Responsible Consumption and Production