A foreign-funded project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has helped a group of indigenous peoples (IPs) in Bukidnon transform 80 hectares land into a coffee farm.
A statement showed that an 80-hectare agroforestry area in Barangay Dalwangan, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon has become a high-quality Arabica coffee producer, while equally protecting Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP) and giving jobs to IPs.
With the help of DENR’s project called Integrated Natural Resources Environmental Management (INREMP), the Indigenous People’s Organization (IPO) of Inhandig Tribal Multipurpose Cooperative (ITPMC) has established a sustainable livelihood planting superior quality coffee.
They now sell their coffee beans to Hineleban Foundation. Their high-grade Arabica coffee commands a price three times compared to regular buying rate.
INREMP is a foreign-funded project of the DENR that promotes the production of high-value crops.
The project works on the protection and development of natural forests while generating livelihood for upland communities. The project reduces and reverses the degradation of watersheds caused by forest denudation and unsustainable farming.
To be specific, the Inhandig IPs were awarded by INREMP 50 hectares of agroforestry area and 30 hectares of Community Tree Plantation (CTP) to develop and manage.
These areas are located in the foothills of the PA (Protected Area) Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP).
The IPO was provided by INREMP with all-weather plastic dryer amounting to 300,000 to enable the quality drying of the coffee beans. The plastic dryer also reduces drying time in order to produce high quality and a longer shelf life coffee.
In addition, the all-weather dryer allows the people’s organization to dry the harvested coffee beans anytime—even during the rainy or wet season. With this, their production and sales will also increase.
The Inhandig IPs have so far planted different varieties of coffee over the INREMP-awarded agroforestry area. This is in addition to their existing coffee plantations.
Ground coffee is also being produced and directly sold to local buyers within the community. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of Bukidnon has offered the IP Inhanding synergistic assistance to promote their coffee products through online marketing.