PEF, ACDI-VOCA unite for Sultan Kudarat coffee farmers
The coffee industry in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat gets a boost with the partnership of the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and the Agricultural Cooperative Development International-Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA) to increase production and improve quality of coffee beans in the municipality.
During the meeting at the Municipal Agriculture Office of the town on 20 February 2020, PEF Area Officer Shunie Pearl Palacios said that PEF will provide production loan to coffee farmers of Kalamansig Farmers Agricultural Development and Marketing Association (KFADMA) while ACDI/VOCA will provide technical assistance on coffee production and post-harvest technology.
"We want to explore the possibility of having demo (model) farms here in Kalamansig. We also want to help our farmers in KFADMA to have equipment they can use," she said.
ACDI/VOCA's efforts in Kalamansig is part of their bigger Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise (PhilCAFE) project that aims to increase production of conventional and specialty coffee, expand export, and enhance technical services of coffee value chain actors.
"Kalamansig was chosen as one of our priority areas and it turns out PEF is working with the same organization (KFADMA) so we decided to put forward a partnership," ACDI/VOCA Regional Coordinator Ronnie Madronero said.
For his part, Kalamansig Municipal Agriculturist Emmanuel Albano said that Kalamansig has a "large potential for wide-scale production" with the coming of experts from Laguna who are seeking for alternative areas for farming after the Taal volcano eruption destroyed coffee areas in Luzon.
“We will have information dissemination for farmers to further enhance their production and we will provide them planting materials,” he said.