BAGUMBAYAN, Sultan Kudarat June 27 (PIA) -–About 86 trained farmers from this town delivered and collectively sold coffee produce collectively to a multinational coffee-buying company in Tagum City, gaining an income of over Php2.2 million.
The collective selling of the coffee beans dubbed as “test marketing” was organized by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in partnership with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to eliminate local traders in the marketing chain, according to DAR officials.
Zeljik Psalm Maraon, DAR-CRS facilitator said that the participating farmers come from the DAR-CRS assisted associations of KM14 High Value Crops, Masiag Farmers and Coffee Growers, Monterverde Coffee Growers and Kanulay P4MP Association.
Maraon added that the net weight of the coffee beans reached 28,689.33 kilograms.
“The farmers earned a gross income of Php2,215,360.13 as a result of directly selling their consolidated coffee produce to Nestle Philippines,” he said.
He added that crucial to gaining more income were the incentives given by the company to the coffee farmers upon delivery of their coffee produce.
“Nestle gave an incentive of additional P1.50 per kilo to the total kilograms of coffee beans delivered, and an additional P1 for every kilo of coffee beans passing the company’s moisture content test,” Maraon added.
However, he said that most of the coffee beans delivered failed to meet the highest quality standard for coffee products, thus lowering their opportunity for a higher income.
“Only 3,259.48 kilograms or about 11.36% of the total delivery met the quality standard of grade 1, which has the highest buying price of P76.50 per kilo,” he said.
“About 25,370.54 kilograms or 88.43% were classified under grade 2 which has an equivalent buying price of Php74.50, while about 59.31 kilograms or 0.21%of coffee beans delivered were classified under grade 3 which has a buying price of Php72.50 per kilo,” Maraon added.
According to Rhea Marie Betque, chief agrarian reform program officer (CARPO) for Program Beneficiaries Development Division, the test marketing achieved the immediate goal which DAR- CRS aimed to attain under the Linking Smallholder Farmers to Market (LinkSFarM) project.
She added that LinkSFarm aimed to increase the competitiveness of farmers’ products and open them to more opportunities in adding value to their produce.
“By eliminating the local traders in the market chain, coffee farmers gained incentives as an added value to their produce thus increasing their income,” Betque said.
She added that the incentive given by the buying company is enough to defray hauling costs of coffee beans from Bagumbayan town to Tagum City.
Meanwhile, during the post-delivery assessment, the farmers agreed to aim for a grade 1 quality for their coffee produce.
The group also resolved to improve their practices in harvesting as well as in performing proper sorting, drying and floatation of coffee beans. (JJDael-DAR-SK/ACAgad-PIA 12)