Gov’t support needed for post-harvest

THE government’s support in providing post-harvest facilities for the cacao and coffee farmers in Davao Region is a need, said a Pine Valley Farm proprietor.

In order to further sustain a good amount of harvest for cacao and coffee beans, Pine Valley Farm Proprietor Delio Cesar said great-quality post-harvest facilities are a necessity.

On the sidelines of the press conference at Frog Kaffee, Torres, Davao City organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao Region, Cesar told SunStar Davao of his personal need of a solar dryer especially because his farm is located in Maragusan with a high temperature and is on 1,200 above sea level.

“In Maragusan, it frequently rains more than it is hot that’s why the drying of the cacao and coffee beans is a little bit challenging,” said Cesar.

With the cold climate in Maragusan ideal for coffee growth, Cesar said manual drying of the beans would take time and ideally, post-harvest facilities will not only make the work faster but also improve it.

He said the post-harvest facilities such as the pulper, roaster, and the dryer and expensive and may not be able to afford by some farmers and government intervention is really needed.

“When I bought my own post-harvest machines, our association and barangay could still not help us with it. And so I improvised and made my own solar dryer,” he added.

He cited as an example that roasters has an average cost of P800,000 per machine.

However, based on their experience of their organization, the New Leyte Cacao and Coffee Farmers Association, the government is willing to help and provide the post-harvest needs of the farmers especially when they form themselves into a cooperative.

“Now, after we have requested for a post-harvest facility as an organization, the Department of Agriculture (DA) had already approved our request and we are actually waiting for the arrival of a coffee bean pulverizer. We expect it to be granted to our cooperative before June,” Cesar said.

Pine Valley Farm is located at Maragusan, Compostela Valley and one of the farm-members of New Leyte Cacao and Coffee Farmers Association. According to Cesar, their organization caters to different farmers from Maragusan.

Aside from the convenience that post-harvest facilities can provide the farmers, Cesar said it will also result to better and value-adding products that the farmers can provide and not just the raw materials.

In Davao Region, as per data of the Philippine Statistics Authority, there is a total of 5,073 metric tons (MT) of cacaos produced in 2016 with 311.92 MT of this coming from Compostela Valley. Dried coffee beans, on the other hand, had reached 11,429.78 MT, with 1,400.04 MT from Compostela Valley.
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