Agrarian reform beneficiaries in the municipality of Makilala in North Cotabato will soon enjoy an increase in their household income after the government launched a coffee production project aimed at augmenting their income.
DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Marion Abella said the project which is worth P470,000, seeks to produce 31,000 coffee seedlings to be planted in at least 50 hectares of agricultural lands along streams and riverbanks in Barangay Kawayanon of Makilala town. The barangay is home to the Makilala South West Agrarian Reform Community.
“Planting these coffee seedlings is like hitting two birds with one stone. First, it supports the National Greening Program (NGP) of the government by planting high-value commercial crops, and second, it provides our agrarian beneficiaries with additional income,” said Abella referring to the project jointly undertaken by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“Aside from their traditional crops of rice and corn, the farmers will have additional income when they sell their harvested coffee beans because there’s a big market here for coffee beans,” said Abella.
The DAR, DA and DENR tapped the Kawayanon Multi-Purpose Cooperative (KMPC) as the agrarian reform beneficiaries organization for the implementation of the project by facilitating coffee seedling production, site clearing, hole-digging and planting of the seedlings.
“To ensure the sustainability and profitability [of the project], the three agencies will provide the farmers with technical and financial support,” said Abella.
The project is being pursued under the National Convergence Initiative--a government strategy that seeks to reduce poverty in the countryside by providing livelihood projects, infrastructure, agricultural technology trainings and access to credit.