Making coffee world-class in Bukidnon
Bukidnon is known for its world-class, high quality coffee. In 2018, coffee farmers from the province won 2nd and 4th places respectively in the Robusta category of the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition. A year later, another Robusta coffee farmer, Lorna Libante, was featured in the Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston, Massachusetts.
Behind these successes is the Bayanihan Millennium Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BMMPC) that is continuously working to raise the bar of coffee quality in the region.
BMMPC has been a top consolidator of coffee in Barangay Pigtauranan, Pangantucan for 30 years. As a coffee community, the crop is an important source of income for the mostly Lumads in the area.
“Mababa ang presyo ng aming kape noon. Sa simula, mahirap kumbinsihin ang ating mga farmers na siguraduhing mataas ang kalidad ng kape nila para tumaas ang presyo. Noong may nanalo na sa amin, namulat talaga ang aming farmers na yakapin ang mga bagong proseso dahil nakita nila na naibebenta ang quality coffee ng PHP 300 per kilo. Mayroon na rin coffee mentoring mula sa aming mga expert farmers. Ilan sa kanila ay mga kabataan na inaasahan naming magpapatuloy ng kabuhayan namin,” BMMPC Manager Leonila Secadron said.
Currently, BMMPC has partnered with farmer organization from ten coffee-producing barangays. Outside Pigtauranan, other farmers have tied up with the cooperative to sell their coffee and be part of its quality and productivity training.
The specialty coffee of BMMPC is being sold at PHP 350 per kilo. The price of its premium Robusta coffee can sell as high as Php 140 per kilo while its Robusta commercial coffee are currently at PHP 80 – 90 per kilo depending on the quality.
With support from the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), BMMPC was able to market their coffee beans to roasters offering higher prices.
“Noong una, Nestle lang ang bumibili ng aming kape. Ngayon, mayroon na kaming buyers tulad ng Equilibrium at Gourmet,” Leonila shared.
According to Nikki Along, senior area officer of PEF, the coffee farmers in Pangantucan are reaping the benefits of high prices of its coffee.
“BMMPC offers PHP 20 to PHP 25 for Arabica cherries. That is usually a PHP 7 difference from what the traditional buyer offers,” she said.
While maintaining the quality of its coffee, BMMPC hopes to increase productivity in its production expansion plan.
“Target namin ngayon ang 100 hectares na Arabica at Robusta. Mayroon na din kaming rejuvenation program para tumaas ang production ng aming mga farmers,” Leonila said.