MANILA — The average annual income of a number of coffee farmers who participated in Senator Francis Pangilinan’s 2013 Sagip Saka program has doubled, it was learned.
In a report to Pangilinan, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Sagip Saka Program partner Nestlé Philippines presented its baseline data from Surigao del Sur showing that some farmers posted an average annual income from coffee of P7,350 in 2014. This almost doubled to P14,224 in 2015 after initial implementation of the program. This 2016, based on field forecast by technicians, the same farmers are expected to earn an income of P 28,500 with higher production compared to previous years.
Under the program, the global consumer giant provided the communities with a total of 83,000 high yielding coffee seedlings, put up a nursery with a capacity of 20,000 seedlings in Bukidnon, provided an all-weather drier and post-harvest facility, distributed fertilizers, and conducted farmer education and technical and basic entrepreneurship training with local government partners. To help boost the farmers’ productivity, each participating community in the provinces of Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur in Mindanao received P1 million from the Sagip Saka program.
Pangilinan launched the Sagip Saka program during his second term as senator. The advocacy seeks to achieve sustainable modern agriculture and food security by transforming agricultural communities to reach their full potential, improving farmers’ and fishers’ quality of life, and bridging gaps through public-private partnerships.
“The new coffee trees planted with the guidance and support of Nestlé Philippines were said to yield 110% more than the old trees for some farmers, and have drastically increased these farmers’ income by more than 100% in 2015,” Pangilinan said.
The food company said it is looking at crop diversification, vermi-compost fertilizer making, and continued farmers’ education once the program is continued or institutionalized.
“Sagip Saka is meant to give agriculture and fisheries the primacy that it deserves by focusing on improving the quality of life of our farmers and fisher folk and, in doing so, building sustainable farming communities nationwide as a means to achieve food security. Only through strong partnerships can we achieve this,” Pangilinan explained.
The successful partnership between the Office of Senator Pangilinan and several companies for the Sagip Saka program in 2013 serves as proof of concept for the institutionalization of the Sagip Saka bill. Jollibee, together with Catholic Relief Services and other groups, was another partner in the program, this time for onion, red pepper, tomato, and lettuce farmers.