Bringing opportunities to indigenous communities
The municipality of Impasugong is a first-class municipality in Bukidnon. Known as the province, tribal capital, the town is home to different indigenous groups, primarily Higaonons, and other tribes like Talaandig and Umayamnon.
While indigenous culture flourish in the town, poverty persists, with 47% poverty incidence reported by Philippine Statistic Authority in 2015. With farming as their main source of livelihood, most IPs lack access to post-harvest equipment and alternative markets for their produce.
To improve their socio-economic conditions, the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) entered a partnership with local social enterprise, Kauyagan Savers Multipurpose Cooperative, (KSMPC) in 2019 which will increase the income of 250 smallholder farmers in three upland barangays in the municipality.
Impasugong Crops Development Project
The Impasugong Crops Development project involves providing capital and transfer of technology to Kauyagan and the IP farmers for production and consolidation of coffee, corn, and abaca fibers. It also aims to equip the farmers knowledge on production and farm management, marketing skills, post-harvest handling and financial literacy.
“We partnered with Kauyagan and connected them to PhilFIDA and other line agencies for technology transfer and other support that they may be able to provide,” PEF Senior Area Officer Nikki Along said.
The collaboration has since paid off: the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) also donated three (3) units of stripping machines, one (1) decorticating machine, improved hand-stripping devices, and a livelihood center/ buying station for the Abaca. PhilFIDA meanwhile trained and accredited Kauyagan as Abaca consolidators.
Impact to SE and indigenous households
In the first year of its implementation, the income sharing scheme enabled farmers to receive at least Php .20 to Php .50 per kilo of corn and Php 2 to Php 3 per kilo of abaca fiber they harvest, depending on the quality.
According to Imelda Esteban, manager of Kauyagan, the project provided a big leap in the development on the lives of the farmers.
“Noon ang mga farmers, magbebenta sa mga big traders. Sa partnership namin with PEF, nagbigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga farmers na maibenta ang kanilang mga tanim sa aming cooperative and we are providing them with more competitive prices,” she said.
 Latest PSA data on poverty estimates per municipality