Coffee industry in Mindanao aims to expand production through the Rural Agro-Industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth), Business World reported.
RAPID Growth is a project that focuses on boosting agriculture-based processing and businesses to be more innovative, productive, and competitive. It also focuses on value-chain approach from production down to the market.
Lucky Siegfred M. Balleque, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Compostela Valley, said in an interview with Business World that by focusing on the value-chain, farmers and processors will be guaranteed for having a market.
Moreover, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded the project with P2.3-billion to help people from rural areas, empower them through increasing their food security, improve nutrition, and increase their incomes.
Regions VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII are being covered by the project. Even more, the project extends assistance to other crops like cacao.
“The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that in the first quarter, production of dried coffee berries was 17,160 metric tons (MT), down 6.9% year-on-year. The top producing region was South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Cotabato Province, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City (Soccsksargen) with 5,430 MT or 31.7% of the total, followed by Davao Region with 14%, and Northern Mindanao with 12.5%”, a recent data about coffee industry in Mindanao stated in Business World.
Further, stakeholders of the coffee industry are coming to carry-out strategic planning which will include loans, training and infrastructure projects on August 27.
Aside from the good programs, some farmers expressed their experiences about the industry.
“The government’s programs need better monitoring to properly disseminate good agricultural practices,” Domingo P. Videña, a coffee farmer for 25 years said.
“Sa obserbasyon ko hindi sapat iyon hangga’t wala ‘yung monitoring sa farm. Iyon ang talagang makapagbibigay ng education dahil ang ibang farmers uma-attatend ng seminars pero pag labas ng seminar room, tanungin mo wala namang alam” (My observation is that programs are not enough unless someone monitors the farms. This is what will spread know-how because farmers attend seminars but if you ask them what they have learned, they will say nothing), he stated in the report.