Five FCAs assume coffee nurseries, establish partnerships to further commercialization

Five farmer cooperative associations (FCAs) in Sultan Kudarat were the recipients of the nursery sheds that housed clonally propagated robusta coffee. DA-SOCCSKSARGEN conducted the official ceremony on 17 October 2022 in Koronadal City, Sultan Kudarat. 

SOCCSKSARGEN being the top producer of coffee in Mindanao has prompted its DA regional office to implement a project that would improve the quality and volume of coffee bean production in the province through clonal propagation. 

With strong collaborations with the provincial and municipal local government units (LGUs), the project has identified FCAs that would further assist in the commercialization of the technology as it has established nursery sheds in three sites. 

Accredited by the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control Services, the nurseries are now being managed by the Limulan Coffee Farmers Association (LCFA) in Brgy. Limulan, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat; Tinalon Farmers Association Coffee Nursery in Brgy.  Tinalon Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat; and Masiag Farmers and Coffee Growers Association of Brgy Masiag, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. They have already established partnerships with the Department of Trade and Industry-Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division. 

During the turnover ceremony, DA-SOCCSKSARGEN and concurrent DA-BAR OIC-director Dr. Sailila E. Abdula led the awarding of certificate for the plant nursery accreditation and plant material certification to the LGUs of the respective nurseries. Certified clones are NSIC 1999-CF R03 (FRT 11), NSIC 2001-CF R05 (IC 7), NSIC 2001-CF R06 (FRT 07) and NSIC 2009-CF R14 (FRT 65). 

In his message, he encouraged the coffee industry in the Philippines, acknowledging the 15% self-sufficiency of the region. 

Hindi man agad-agad ang resulta, pero tiyak ako na ang R4D project na ito will be a game-changer in the coffee industry not just here in Sultan Kudarat, but in the whole region. Ang proyektong ito ay hindi lamang para sa ikakaunlad ng coffee industry dito sa rehiyon, kundi, lalo’t higit para sa ikakaunlad ng ating mga coffee farmers,” he said. 

With the challenges and continuous increase in demand, he underscored the need to innovate and enhance the local coffee varieties. 

‘Let’s try to have an ‘entrepreneur’ mindset kapag tayo ay nagfafarm or nagbubusiness. Hindi iyong may product ka, tapos idedeliver mo lang. Kung pwede mong gawing iyo, then create your own brand, your own coffee brand. Alam ko dito sa Sultan Kudarat [mataas ang] coffee [production], so why not create a coffee product made from Sultan Kudarat?” he added. 

The established nurseries have already produced 50,000 robusta seedlings. Dr. Ray A. Rodriguez, project leader, presented the sustainability plan of the nursery. First, all coffee seedlings that will be produced will be for sale to both members and non-members. Second, the nursery operators must see to it that the project is profitable and sustainable and other fruits trees or plantation crops can also be propagated in the nursery. Lastly, MOA among the operators and the DA-SOCCSKSARGEN will be instituted. (### Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino)