San Miguel Corporation (SMC), through its food division San Miguel Foods, recently purchased 524,155 metric tons of corn from local farmers, increasing its total purchase by 20% from 436,209 metric tons in September.
This is so far the largest volume purchased by the company from farmers' cooperatives as part of its continuing efforts to help local farmers boost their incomes in the midst of the pandemic.
With the completion of its many new, modern feed mills nationwide, SMC will be buying even more local corn supply in the future. particularly from Bukidnon and Pangasinan. According to SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang, these new facilities, equipped with large silos with aerators, are capable of stockpiling and storing corn and other grains for a year. This will enable the company to store bulk corn longer, give more income to local farmers, and boost food security.
San Miguel Foods also purchases local cassava from farmer cooperatives nationwide through its Cassava Assembler Program, which serves as a platform for small farmers to earn stable and reasonable income from SMC. Local cassava purchased for 2020 has already reached 102,608 metric tons, 109% more than the total purchased in 2019.
Aside from purchasing corn and cassava from local farmers, SMC also has other initiatives to help the agricultural sector, such as its partnership with the Department of Agriculture to open “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” stores at Petron gas stations to allow local farmers to sell their fresh produce to more consumers throughout Metro Manila; and the Better World Diliman, a market where excess produce bought from farmers at above farmgate prices are sold to resellers and consumers at lower prices.
SMC is also exploring other ways to support farmers whose agricultural lands were devastated by super typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.