P4-million enterprise project upgrades SACGPO’s coffee business

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The Sagada Coffee Growers and Producers Organization (SACGPO) in Mountain Province can now expand their coffee business with the upgrading of their processing facilities through the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).

For their enterprise development (I-REAP) subproject on coffee, the SACGPO received processing equipment and supplies amounting to four million pesos with counterpart funding from of 60 percent from the World Bank, 20 percent from the DA, another 20 percent from the provincial government and the balance of 20 percent from the SACGPO as proponent group equity.

Among the materials they received include coffee grinding machine; stainless tables, shelves, basins, pots, and food-grade packaging materials and other coffee making tools; working capital; and cupping laboratory supplies and materials.

“This enterprise is really of great help not only to the organization but to the community because we have to maintain and ensure the quality of coffee that is being produced in Sagada,” said SACGPO manager Vincent T. Andawi.

According to Mary Jane Tumapang, Provincial Assistant Agriculturist and I-REAP Focal Person, the procurement and upgrading of food-grade coffee processing equipment and supplies led to a more organized and cost-effective coffee processing activities.

“The cupping laboratory will help the members improve their coffee production practices and come up with a uniform quality blend of coffee,” she said adding that the enterprise gained more than 25 percent increase in income last year with the assistance they received from the DA-PRDP.

The delivery of supplies and materials per tranche started in early 2019 and was completed in February 2020. However, a formal turnover ceremony was not conducted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last October 30, 2020, a turnover ceremony was finally held at the SACGPO Coffee Processing Center in Poblacion, Sagada led by Provincial Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan Jr. together with DA-CAR Agriculture Programs Coordinating Officer Beverly T. Pekas. Representatives from the provincial government, along with the members and officers of SACGPO, also joined in the turnover ceremony.

Gov. Lacwasan, in his message, said that the equipment and materials will help operationalize and sustain the coffee processing activities of SACGPO. He also commended the organization for being recognized by the DA-PRDP as the best I-REAP subproject in terms of enterprise operations in the North Luzon Cluster.

Meanwhile, Pekas stressed the DA’s commitment in providing interventions to farmers despite the pandemic. She also urged the organization and the coffee farmers to further improve their marketing mechanism and sustain the interventions provided by the DA.

The members and officers of SACGPO through Andawi, expressed their gratitude to the DA-PRDP and to the provincial and municipal LGU for their assistance from the crafting of business plan until its approval.

He further thanked the provincial government for providing 20 percent of the enterprise’s total investment cost.

“It’s a blessing tay ado nan lumako si kape gapo isnan pinunduan da et na awardan pay di si best packaged food product isnan Department of Science and Technology (It’s a blessing as our sales increased because of the assistance [we received] and it [Sagada Gold] was even awarded as the best packaged food product by the DOST),” said Andawi.

Aside from SACGPO’s coffee enterprise, the province has also inaugurated on February 2020 – a P14.3-million coffee consolidation and marketing enterprise with four buying stations and a main consolidation center in Besao. This enterprise complements SACGPO’s coffee business as the source of coffee green beans.