ASIPULO, Ifugao--The Hojap Multi-Purpose Cooperative (HMPC) moved one step closer to expanding its coffee business following the inauguration and turnover of the improved P4.49 million-worth coffee consolidation and processing center on July 23.
The existing building of HMPC located at barangay Haliap, which was originally constructed under the Department of Agriculture -High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) in 2015, was improved by the Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP), to support its enterprise subproject on coffee processing and marketing. Two floors were added to the existing building that will be used for coffee processing and marketing activities.
As part of the enterprise subproject, two satellite buying stations with a total cost of P3.55 million were also established at barangay Pula and Camandag. These buying stations will facilitate easier consolidation of coffee especially from the distant barangays of Asipulo.
The HMPC also received two hauling trucks and several coffee making tools and equipment from PRDP amounting to P5.88M.
Shared by the World Bank (60% Loan Proceeds), the DA (20%), and the Provincial Government of Ifugao (20%), the total investment cost for the Ifugao Coffee Processing and Marketing Enterprise is around P13.98 million excluding the additional equity shouldered by the HMPC as the proponent group of the enterprise subproject.
During the turnover program, HMPC manager Shirley U. Tagtag expressed her gratitude to the cooperative’s partner agencies for the numerous assistance they received in terms of trainings, product development, facilities and equipment, among others.
“We now have 1,500 members and a total asset of P131 million. This processing center and all the other facilities and equipment will surely help in the realization of the goals of this enterprise project to increase farm productivity and income of coffee growers, improve the Ifugao coffee competitiveness, and strengthen and develop a viable Robusta coffee enterprise,” she said.
Tagtag also informed that they were able to consolidate around 50 kilograms of dried Robusta coffee berries that are currently stored at their postharvest facility and at the buying stations.
“Despite the challenges that we are currently facing in this time of pandemic, we are continuously providing production support to our coffee grower members such as the Coffee Production Loan and product development trainings,” she added.
DA-CAR Regional Technical Director and PRDP Regional Deputy Project Director Danilo P. Daguio congratulated the HMPC for the inauguration of their enterprise subproject after six years since the submission and approval of their proposal.
“With the completion of this project, and turnover of the facilities to the HOJAP MPC, the living conditions of farmers here are seen to improve as their coffee products will now be processed and marketed properly. It doesn’t stop with the turnover of this project for this is only the start of more challenges that your cooperative will soon encounter,” Daguio said.
PRDP Project Support Office North Luzon Deputy Project Director Elma S. Mananes urged the HMPC to develop and sustain their enterprise subproject as they poured in a lot of efforts together with the LGU and the DA-PRDP for this to be realized.
“Six years is indeed a long journey but this is only the beginning because we still need to take care of this project, give it importance, develop it, and show everyone that we are deserving of this blessing to help improve the livelihood of our farmers,” she said.
James Damoyan, Executive Assistant to the Governor of Ifugao, also commended the members and officers of HMPC for the successful realization of their long-awaited dream.
“With this project, we are now given bigger responsibilities and challenges from the coffee growers as our suppliers and also from our consumers to have a competitive product,” he said, adding that Hojap MPC should keep on upgrading their venture to become more competitive. (Elvy T. Estacio- DA-PRDP)