Benguet farmers get P4.13-M coffee trading center from PRDP

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The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) officially turned over the Benguet Coffee Trading Center to the Proponent Groups (PGs) of the Benguet Arabica Coffee Enterprise (BACE) recently.

Benguet Governor Melchor D. Diclas led the turnover rites together with DA-CAR OIC-Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey, and PRDP North Luzon Deputy Project Director Elma S. Mananes. Key officials from the Benguet Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) were also present to witness the event.

During the turnover, the board of directors (BOD) and representatives from the PGs of the enterprise headed by the Kibungan Arabica Coffee Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (KACGMPC), accepted the facility and committed to use it for its intended purpose.

“In behalf of the BACE PGs, we are committing to use this facility for its purpose as we also believe that it will motivate our fellow coffee growers to increase their production”, said Martes Aludos, KACGMPC Board of Directors Chairperson.

With a project cost of P4.13 million, the trading center was established to support the operations of the BACE for its coffee consolidation and trading activities.

During the program, Governor Diclas emphasized in his message, the importance of improving coffee quality and increasing coffee production.

“Production is as equally important as marketing for without production, you will have nothing to market,” said Governor Diclas adding that improved production will eventually lead to the improvement of the coffee farmers’ living conditions.

Director Mananes also urged the 11 PGs to develop their enterprise subproject and sustain it even beyond the closing of the PRDP. “As the PRDP provides holistic interventions, the major reasons of these projects will always be alleviating poverty and increasing farmers’ income,” she said.

Further, Director Odsey challenged the PGs to revisit and review their business plan as it was the basis of their enterprise subproject.

“Coffee is a premium product of the region and the biggest challenge for you today is your business plan. You came up with it five years ago and now that it is completed, go back and revisit your plans on how to be a millionaire through your enterprise,” he said.

Overall, the enterprise subproject costs P13.91 M shared by the World Bank 60 percent, the DA 20 percent, and the PLGU of Benguet 20 percent including another 20 percent equity (in cash/kind) from the PGs.

Aside from the trading center, two hauling vehicles were previously turned over to the PGs including 75 units of coffee pulper, 350 pcs hermetic bags, 16 units of fabricated elevated solar dryer, among other coffee making materials.

With aims of expanding coffee market offering high quality and globally competitive coffee green beans, the BACE will be managed by a BOD composed of one representative each from Atok Arabica Coffee Growers Marketing Cooperative (ACOGMAC), Abiang Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ACMPC), Boboc-Bisal Organic Arabica Coffee Producer & Grower Association, Inc. (BBOACPGAI), Pacso Producers of Coffee Association, Inc (PaProCoAI), Kapangan Arabica Coffee Producers Association  (KACPA), La Trinidad Arabica Coffee Producers Association (LATACPA), Banangan Coffee Growers (BCG), Tuba Benguet  Coffee Growers Association , Inc. (TuBengCoGa), Tublay Organic Farming Practitioners  Association (TOFPA), Benguet Organic Coffee Arabica Enterprises Limited Inc. (BOCAELI), Bakun Central Multipurpose Cooperative (BCMPCI) headed by a representative from the KACGMPC. By ELVY T. ESTACIO