BALBALAN, Kalinga – A farmer’s group here received P200,000 for being the best in Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) in the Cordillera.
The Papaltongan Coffee Producers Association (PCPA) of Sitio Bullalayao, Pantikian this town received the incentive from Department of Science and Technology-Provincial S&T Center (PSTC) headed by Jasmin Donaal who awarded the check during the National Science and Technology Week celebration.
The PCPA plans to spend the incentive for coffee dryer and storage and moisture meter.
Last year, the PCPA also won best CEST in the Cordillera and received P200,000, which the group used to buy a generator set and wood processing accessories.
The PCPA, which has 25 members, is engaged in coffee production and processing of coffee timber into souvenir items.
The group is tending about 200 hectares of coffee plantations. Their coffee product has passed the cupping competition with 83.5 premium taste grade.
To maximize the use of coffee wood, the group requested the DOST to train its members on souvenir making as an add-on livelihood.
Ponciano Gumabay, Jr., PCPA president, expressed the community’s gratitude to DOST for bringing the program to their place and for training them on souvenir making.
Gumabay said they are producing souvenir items from coffee timber, which they regarded before as firewood. The association earned P20,000 from September last year to February this year before the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said they earned mostly from their products sold in Laguna.
“There are pending orders but we are not able to deliver them because of this pandemic,” he said.
The PCPA is supported by partners like the Kalinga State University Research and Extension, which adopted the group’s plantation as research and extension area on coffee rejuvenation.
The Balbalan local government unit will provide the association with a solar dryer as its counterpart, said Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Sonia Duggoy.
Forrest Tabbang of the Office of the Congressman assured that Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang will support the programs and projects of DOST, especially those of Kalinga PSTC. – Dan B. Codamon