Under the High Value Crops Development Pro-gram (HVCDP), the three brand new hauling trucks worth P1.49-million each were recently turned over to Rehoboth Farmers Association of Panabo, Davao del Norte; Baluta-kay Coffee Farmers Association (BACOFA) in Bansalan, Davao del Sur; and the Pambansang Mananalon, Mag-Uuma, Magbabaul, Magsasaka ng Pilipinas (P4MP) in Padada also in Davao del Sur.
Rehoboth Association is farmers’ association enga-ges in production, pro-cessing, and marketing of cacao beans in Davao del Norte. The association has also buying stations in Calinan, Davao City and Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur.
“Transporting cacao beans from these areas require hauling truck to transport bigger volume of produce. Hauling truck also facilitates faster delivery of products to our buyers,” said Rehoboth Chairperson Lolita Pinoon.
Pinoon then turned to DA11-HVCDP for Re-hoboth to avail itself of hauling truck. Given their track record as a stable cacao farmers’ association they eventually qualified for the said assistance.
“The hauling truck will enable us to reach out to more farmers in the region and at the same time will strengthen cacao marketing system as we can now cope with the volume and quality required by our buyers,” she said.
BACOFA on the other hand is renowned as producer of fine Arabica specialty coffee situated at the foothills of Mount Apo. During the recent national coffee summit in Baguio City, BACOFA coffee has been rated 87 over 100 by Q1 cup grader. Such recognition has increased the demand for their Arabica coffee beans, as the minimum requirement for specialty coffee should be at least 80 over 100.
Rogelio Gonzales, BACOFA chairman said they could hardly catch-up the demand of various coffee processors due to mobility constraints. “Most of our coffee farms are in remote and hilly areas and we lack vehicle that could transport higher volume of coffee beans,” he said.
“We are glad that DA has provided us a hauling truck, with this, we can easily deliver our products directly to our buyers. Most of our deliveries are in Davao airport and Davao seaport which require us to catch up with the departure schedules,” he said.
Rolando Ruiz, presi-dent of P4MP in Padada, Davao del Sur for his part said more farmer-members can now esta-blished direct buyer of their perishable products such as banana, mango, and vegetables.
DA 11 Regional Direc-tor Ricardo Oñate during the turnover ceremonies in the two provinces said provision of hauling truck and other postharvest facilities are part of the government commitment to improve farmers’ income.
“Efficient transport system connects farmers to direct buyers, reduce postharvest losses and transport cost which in turn improve their income. It also helps in making food available and affordable to our consumers,” he said.