An 80-hectare agroforestry area in Brgy, Dalwangan, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon has become a high-quality Arabica coffee producer while equally protecting the Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP) and giving jobs to Indigenous People (IP).
The Indigenous People’s Organization (IPO) of Inhandig Tribal Multipurpose Cooperative (ITPMC) has established a sustainable livelihood planting superior quality coffee.
They now sell their coffee beans to HIneleban Foundation Their high-grade Arabica coffee commands a price three times compared to regular buying rate.
The IPs in Brgy. Dalwangan, Malaybalay City have taken advantage of livelihood opportunities in project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called “Integrated Natural Resources Environmental Management” or INREMP.
The Inhandig IPs was awarded by INREMP 50 hectares of groforestry area and 30 hectares of Community Tree Plantation (CTP) to develop and manage. These areas are located in the foothills of the PA (Protected Area) Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP).
The IPO was provided by INREMP with all-weather plastic dryer amounting to 300,000 to enable the quality drying of the coffee beans. The plastic dryer also reduces drying time in order to produce high quality and a longer shelf life coffee.
In addition, the all-weather dryer allows the people’s organization to dry the harvested coffee beans anytime—even during the rainy or wet season. With this, their production and sales will also increase.
The Inhanding tribal group planted different varieties of coffee over the INREMP-awarded agroforestry area. This is in addition to their existing coffee plantations.
Ground coffee is also being produced and directly sold to local buyer within the community.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of Bukidnon has offered the IP Inhanding a synergistic assistance to promote their coffee products through online marketing.
Given the right motivation, skills and knowledge coupled with good link and networks with business service providers the ITMPC is confident that they will have a bright future from their coffee beans.
INREMP is a a foreign-funded project of the DENR. It promotes the production of high-value crops. At the same time, INREMP works on the protection and development of natural forests while generating livelihood for upland communities. The project reduces and reverses degradation of watershed caused by forest denudation and unsustainable farming.
INREMP has three subproject types, namely: 1) Natural Resource Management (NRM), 2) Rural Infrastructure (RI), and; 3) Livelihood Enhancement Support (LES-1). Fortunately, ITPMC has been a partner of INREMP to implement and manage two of these subprojects (NRM and LES) (MELODY AGUIBA)