Grooming an Iligan village for coffee production

Posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 and is filed under Feature. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Rogongon is one of the economically needy communities in the city of Iligan, and the City Government of Iligan is pushing for efforts to groom several sectors to let it become one of Mindanao’s coffee-producing areas.

City Councilor Marlene Young has proposed a coffee production program to help uplift the residents’ economic state as a livelihood project that will enable participating families to earn a meager monthly income. Young thought that this effort would also further inspire Rogongon residents to pursue similar productive means of livelihood.

A community study revealed that Rogongon residents earn income that range from 500 to 2000 pesos monthly per family.  This, Young said, was not enough for the average Filipino family to sustain a decent way of living.

Iligan City agriculturist Octavius Molo disclosed that this move has the support of Nestle Philippines, which has committed to provide a thousand seedlings of coffee for participating community residents to plant.  Nestle has further pledged to be the buyer of the harvested coffee.

Said coffee seedlings shall be planted in a nursery in Rogonon that is about 300 square meters in area. The Iligan City Agriculture office will allow the use of its dehulling machine during harvest time.

Another local official, Lone District Representative Vicente Belmonte Jr. assured of support to the program by providing other equipment as may be identified by the CAO.

While this effort is initially lauded for its purpose and intent, there are Iliganons who are already skeptic about the sustainability of the program, especially since this means at the same time bringing a change in the day-to-day living among Rogongon residents.  Should the program also find its way to harvest time especially with the official campaign period fast approaching and the subtle campaign brewing in the political scene, the Rogongon residents might just end up as stepping stones to further the political career of those behind the project.

Coffee growing is per se a laudable project.  A study should further back up perhaps that research on the economic state of Rogonon residents.  This should be a study on how many cups of coffee would Filipinos—or Mindanaoans, or Iliganons—have? Would Iliganons themselves buy the coffee from the Rogongon nursery?

As of press time, there is no fixed estimate yet as to projected number of kilos of coffee beans may be done in a day.

On the other hand, one has to consider too, the degree of diligence of Rogongon residents—the work attitude of those who will be in the project.

But for all it is worth, we hope to see Rogongon five or ten years from now as among the biggest suppliers of Nestle Philippines.  (The PhilSouth Angle)

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