In Asipulo, Ifugao, home of the famous high-quality local coffee, Hojap Kesi’melan coffee, farmers are producing more coffee beans to satisfy its ever-growing demand.
Through the Hojap Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Hojap), with support from the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and the local government, 100 coffee farmers are part of a rejuvenation project in this town, where 39 have started the process, a big step toward increasing productivity for the coming years.
Rejuvenation is defined by the Bureau of Plant Industry as the cutting of vertical stems of old trees to induce growth of new sprouts. Studies have shown that it can double the yield for coffee green beans.
PEF Program Officer Alfred Escaño said the project aims to increase the income of coffee farmers from P19,000 to P40,000 once they have completed their rejuvenation and reached the full production of their rejuvenated trees.
“Vegetables remain the primary crop in this area. But coffee serves as their source of emergency funds. We are helping them to be resilient to shocks such as the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Hojap General Manager Shirley Tagtag said the pandemic and the community quarantines did not stop the farmers from rejuvenating their crops.
The cooperative continues to support the farmers by buying their produce at a competitive rate even if the demand and pricing of coffee remain volatile in these times.
PEF supported the project with P5.4 million for production, technical assistance, and capacity-building while the local government of Asipulo provided chainsaws and labor force during the farming season.
Consolidation and central coffee processing centers were also built with support from the departments of Agriculture and Trade and Industry.
Hojap Kesi’melan coffee is available through their page at https://www.facebook.com/HojapCoffee and also via Shoppee at https://shopee.ph/m/2021-national-food-fair. – Press release