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Monday, April 22, 2024

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PLDT, Smart empower local farmers, MSMEs towards digitalization

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PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) have ushered 14,442 farmers, fisherfolk, cooperatives, and micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) towards digitalization through their tech-enabled solutions this year, a 40% increase from 2022.

“Under our livelihood advocacy, PLDT and Smart have enabled farmers, fisherfolk, cooperatives, and MSMEs nationwide to participate in the digital economy. We have also helped boost their productivity and eventually increase their income,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, AVP and Head of Stakeholder Management Team at PLDT and Smart.

This year, 11,464 MSMEs and cooperative members have undergone a digital upskilling training under the PLDT Group’s eBiznovation, reaching a total of 21,105 local entrepreneurs since it started.

PLDT and Smart’s Digital Farmers Program (DFP) have strengthened the digital literacy of 2,796 farmers, youth, agri-extension workers, farm field schools, and other stakeholders, another milestone for the year. To date, DFP has extended the benefits of using technology in agriculture to 9,351 Filipino farmers with over 300 trainings rolled out.

This is made possible by the strong collaboration with partners such as the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture through its Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI).

“Working together with our stakeholders, including the likes of digital giant TikTok Shop, and from the public sector, such as DTI and our long-time partner DA-ATI, we continue to provide capacity building sessions, digital and e-commerce solutions, specific product offerings for farmers, fisherfolk, MSMEs, and cooperatives and our network of thousands of load retailers to further boost their digital literacy and livelihood opportunities,” said Jay C. Lagdameo, VP and Head of Corporate Relationship Management at PLDT Enterprise.

Empowering farming communities and local enterprises through digital tools and mobile technologies towards sustainable agriculture and inclusive growth is a key priority of DFP and eBiznovation.

“To respond to the gap between the existing digital ecosystem and farming communities, DA-ATI has partnered with PLDT and Smart to strengthen the digital literacy among farmers and fisherfolk. This is also aligned with the digitalization push of the national government, to modernize and upscale agriculture through technology,” said Engr. Remy Recoter, Director of DA-ATI.

PLDT and Smart’s efforts to promote inclusive technologies that can help boost livelihood opportunities among farmers, fisherfolk, cooperatives, and MSMEs aim to contribute to the UNSDG #1 No Poverty, #2 Zero Hunger, and #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth. This also underscores the Group’s support to the government’s Go Digital Pilipinas Movement. PLDT is a founding member of the Digital Infrastructure pillar of the presidential Private Sector Advisory Council, which seeks to uplift the lives of Filipinos through adoption of digital services.

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