DAVAO CITY: The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has turned over P1 million to the local government unit (LGU) of Bansalan in Davao del Sur for the construction of a prefabricated coffee storage in Sitio Gagpang, Barangay Alegre in the town.

The project aims to ensure coffee quality and available supply for marketing.

In a turnover ceremony on Wednesday, January 18, in Davao City, DA 11 regional executive director Abel James Monteagudo said the project is part of the intensified support of the agency for coffee farmers in the Davao Region.

"Coffee beans from the foothills of Mt. Apo are regarded as one of the best in the country and even made headlines as they have won the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition since 2018," Monteagudo added.

With this project, according to him, the number of local and international buyers could increase and there is a need for postharvest facilities to help the coffee farmers meet the required quality and demand.

He said a postharvest facility determines the quality of coffee cherries as every step of postharvest activities can cause significant quality loss and lead to a lower market price.
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The project, once finished, will benefit the 197 members of Gagpang Alegre Potato Small Farmers Association (Gapsfa).

Gapsfa is currently practicing diversified farming with vegetables, potatoes and coffee.

Its president Carlito Palangya said the project, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, would be a big help for the coffee community to run its business and adhere to quality standards and protocol.

Based on the Philippine National Standards for coffee cherries and beans, dried coffee beans shall be placed in a well-constructed warehouse to keep the moisture content sufficiently low and consistent with local conditions.

Bansalan municipal agriculturist Zaldy Sumangil has assured the agency that the LGU together with its Municipal Agri-Fishery Council will actively participate in validation activities and assist its farmer-beneficiaries to ensure the success of the project.