JICA, DENR partner to support upland farmers in NV; inaugurate coffee processing facility

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THEPHILBIZNEWS file photo

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources built a coffee processing facility in Nueva Vizcaya to strengthen community-based enterprises and sustainable forest management.

The Kalanguyan tribe in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya ventures into coffee production that is worth ₱5.8 million investment for the coffee processing facility to boost local economy in watershed areas and further promote forest conservation.

In addition to creating livelihood opportunities for upland farmers engaged in the protection and maintenance of the Upper Matuno Sub-watershed (SW) in Nueva Vizcaya, the agroforestry value chain sub-project envisions to harness the produce from established agroforestry plantations by partner People’s Organizations (POs). Such initiative is part of the Forestland Management Project (FMP), an ongoing cooperation between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to strengthen forestland management through the implementation of community-based forest management approach. The facility will directly benefit nearly 1,000 farmers under five (5) POs of Nueva Vizcaya.

Mr. IDE Soichiro, Senior Representative of JICA

“We hope that this facility will encourage entrepreneurship in Nueva Vizcaya’s watershed communities and contribute to improving peoples’ economic conditions. This way, farmers and residents become our partners in environment conservation, and direct them away from activities that degrade the forests,” said Mr. IDE Soichiro, Senior Representative of JICA.

“To the communities and PO members – be responsible, respect what was given to you, and work for the betterment of your POs in order to sustain and improve the socio-economic conditions,” said Kayapa Mayor Dr. Elizabeth Balasya.

Kayapa Mayor Dr. Elizabeth Balasya

The JICA-DENR FMP initiative has delivered positive results when it comes to forestland management and conservation. Already more than 71,000 hectares have been rehabilitated covering the provinces of Ifugao, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Iloilo, and around 150 POs have joined the force to protect and conserve natural resources.

Aside from enterprise development, FMP has been active in implementing other community-based management strategies including capacity development of POs, conduct of information and education drives to promote sustainable use of forestland resources, and rehabilitation/construction of Agroforestry Support Facilities (ASF) subprojects to improve production network and access to market.

The Philippines is the second largest coffee consumer in Asia and imports 214,000 metric tons annually due to low domestic production at 68,800 metric tons only. In Nueva Vizcaya alone, there is a demand of around 650 metric tons of coffee. With the new processing facility, the cluster POs are expected to contribute around 280 metric tons of coffee by 2026. It is also expected to develop the agro-industrial sector by increasing and stabilizing the income of farmers who previously relied solely on natural forest assets.

“The Nansiakan Coffee Processing Facility is indeed a great blessing not only for the 5 POs of Upper Matuno but the whole community as well. Once the facility become operational, hundreds of jobs would be created, thereby uplifting the economic conditions of the people,” said FMP Site Management Officer of Upper Matuno Sub-watershed, Forester Rely Briones.

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