DA-8 assists coffee farmers, gives coffee processing equipment

Created on Sunday, 17 November 2019 Published Date

The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 8 (DA-RFO 8) has turned over to a farmer’s association here Wednesday, Nov. 6, a building and several equipment for churning locally-harvested coffee beans into high-quality powder good for brewing.

Larry U. Sultan, Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension of DA-RFO 8, handed to Candelaria Adanza, President of Anahawan Farmers Co-Ca (coffee and cacao) Growers Association, Inc. (AFCGAI), a certificate of turnover for the building and equipment, costing PhP1 Million each, for a total of PhP2 Million.

The assistance was given as a grant under the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of the agriculture department.

 Attending as witness to the occasion was Michael Nunez, Provincial Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), an agency that helped a lot in the labeling, packaging, and marketing of the finished product, Emie Acasio, Provincial Director of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), other DA regional officials, including their attached agencies, and municipal officials led by Mayor Alfredo Luna.

Also around were provincial and municipal agriculture officials, members of the regional, provincial, and municipal agriculture and fisheries councils, which held their meetings earlier at Saint Bernard, and Rev. Fr. Conrado Saavedra, who led the mass and blessings.

In his message, RTD Sultan stressed that the association make full use of the equipment and do some more improvements of the production site at Barangay Tagup-an, an interior barangay, so as to pass sooner the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Sultan also recapped the challenging moments some years back in the course of establishing an agribusiness venture in the Pacific area that uses raw materials planted by farmers in the locality, and the perseverance of AFCGAI President Adanza and their group that made it all happen.

Romeo Delmo, HVCDP Chief of DA-RFO 8, said the coffee processing plant in Anahawan was a first, not only in the province but in the entire Region 8.

In a brief chat with local media before the start of the ceremonies, Adanza said she started planting 3,000 coffee seedlings of the Robusta variety in 2008, the seedlings having been given to her by Cong. Roger Mercado.

Eighteen months after planting and onwards, she began harvesting and selling to Nestle, until she partnered with DTI for packaging and marketing, and the DA for level-up production assistance.

Now, she goes around the whole of Leyte and Samar, meeting coffee farmers and buying their harvest at PhP40.00 - 60.00 per kilo, depending on how clean and dry the coffee beans are.  (MARCELINO M. PEDALINO / PIA-8, Southern Leyte)


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