Coffee Farming Strengthens Surigao del Norte Community

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A sense of community, solidarity and hope has bonded together the farmers of Barangay Kahayagan, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur, thanks to the lessons they learned and the benefits they reaped from coffee farming.

Julio Budlayan

Today, however, the coffee farmers of Barangay Kahayagan know they can rely on one another for their mutual benefit.

A sense of community, solidarity and hope has bonded together the farmers of Barangay Kahayagan, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur, thanks to the lessons they learned and the benefits they reaped from coffee farming. This has spurred them to form their own cooperative, the Kahayagan Coffee Growers' Association under the leadership of founder Julio Budlayan.

Before they formed their own cooperative, each coffee farmer basically worked his farm on his own - he faced his difficulties by himself and could only use whatever meager resources he had for the upkeep of his own farm and the improvement of his harvests.

Today, however, the coffee farmers of Barangay Kahayagan know they can rely on one another for their mutual benefit. They can all share in the blessings of the land by working together as a community, in the true spirit of Filipino bayanihan.

"Walang iwanan sa kape," says Budlayan, explaining what the Kahayagan coffee farmers have learned: they can multiply the blessings and benefits they get from coffee farming by coming together as a community.

Budlayan cited as an example the de-hulling machine that they bought using the resources of their cooperative. A de-hulling machine removes the outer layers of the dried coffee cherries, in order to get the coffee beans inside—coffee beans that will be roasted, ground and brewed to make instant coffee.

"When we didn't have our own de-hulling machine, we had to transport coffee beans to another and rent a de-hulling machine there. This meant extra effort, more time and more expense. Having our own de-hulling machine is the solution to all of that," says Budlayan.

The Kahayagan Coffee Growers' Association has other projects in line, including building their own meeting hall and sponsoring some members to take additional training in coffee farming at the Nestlé Experimental and Demonstration Farm in Davao. Both projects stand to benefit all of their members.

Help Julio Budlayan and other Filipino farmers harvest their future by bringing home a jar of the 2010 Special Limited Edition NESCAFÉ Classic First Pick.

Look for the unique code at the back of the jar and log on to nescafe.com.ph/firstpick Key-in the code to learn more about the journey of your coffee and to adopt a coffee seedling that will benefit a local coffee farming community. To know more about NESCAFÉ Classic First Pick, call the Nestlé Care Hotline 898-0061.

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