THE Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association (Bacofa) in Bansalan, Davao del Sur sees convincing traditional farmers to adopt the new farming technology as a challenge.
Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC) 2019 Arabica category champion Marivic Dubria said that while the younger generation of coffee farmers is practicing new farming technology for better quality and specialty products, some still refuse to learn and continue to use the traditional way of farming.
“Dako kaayo ang challenge nga i-convince and ubang farmers na mu-follow sa process of producing quality coffee. Isa sa mission namo is kami ang una nga mag-produce sa Region 11 or Mindanao, nga kami ang maging sentro sa specialty coffee (It is still a challenge to convince other farmers to follow the process of producing quality coffee. One of our mission is to be the first to produce quality coffee in Region 11 or Mindanao and become the center of specialty coffee),” Dubria said.
Dubria said that despite their goal to fully supply the country with quality coffee, they still produce ordinary coffee due to the refusal of other farmers to shift from traditional farming to the new practices.
“Naga-produce gihapon mi og ordinary coffee since dili man tanan farmers willing mu-adopt sa new technology (We still produce ordinary coffee since not all of our farmers are willing to adopt the new technology),” Dubria said.
Bacofa is currently a cooperative practicing new ways of producing quality coffee through the advent of technology. It has 400 hectares of land for coffee production and is planning for expansion.
Winning in the recent competition, Dubria said she is encouraged to produce more high quality specialty coffee and supply the country as part of their contribution to the coffee industry.
However, one of the challenges is the openness of other farmers to new farming technology.
“Kami nga mga young farmers nga nag-operate sa cooperative, kung mutudlo mi sa mga older farmers, muingon ra sila na nganong tudluan kuno namo sila nga nauna paman sila sa amoa (We, the younger farmers who are now operating the cooperative, if we teach the older ones, they will just tell us that they have come to learn coffee farming earlier than us so why should we teach them?),” Dubria said.