COTABATO CITY – Universal Robina Corporation has placed an order for the purchase of some 10 tons of Robusta coffee beans (red pick) from an agrarian reform cooperative in Sulu province, the Department of Agrarian Reform in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAR-ARMM) said.
The coffee beans, dubbed as “Sulu Royal Coffee”, are produced by the Kandayok Agrarian Reform Community’s (ARC) People’s Alliance for Progress Multi-purpose Cooperative (PAPMPC), which is based in the town of Panamao. The bulk order will comprise around 70% of the cooperative’s accumulated harvest over four months, according to DAR-ARMM.
It said Kumalah Elardo, leader of PAPMPC, also told DAR-ARMM that Universal Robina’s research group has carefully examined the beans harvest to make sure it is high quality.
The cooperative produces Kahawa Sug Royal Coffee made from Robusta beans and Kahawa Kubing Royal Coffee, which is roasted civet coffee, and these products have received recognition from the international market, especially in Southeast Asian countries.
The Sulu Royal Coffee has achieved many successes and recognition in the past under the leadership of Kumalah. The cooperative abides by its “pick red”, or picked ripe, policy in harvesting as well as other disciplined measures to ensure high quality of its produce.
The growing coffee industry in Sulu has provided opportunity for the community to be more productive. “Dati nagkakabayo lang ang mga farmers, ngayon naka motorsiklo na sila at semento na rin ang kanilang mga bahay.” (In the past, the farmers rely on horses for transport, now they have motorcycles…also, their houses are now concreted),” Elardo said.
Most of the workers and members of the cooperative are now focused in producing high-quality coffee and each household member in Kandayok ARC is now involved in coffee production, she added.
PAPMPC and the Kandayok ARC are recipients also of DAR-ARMM’s Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services project. The community received common service facilities, agri-enterprise development and rural infrastructure from the regional government through that project.
The development and the reach of PAPMPC coffee products will soon find their way home and inspire more positive changes to the farmers in Sulu and their families. (Bureau of Public Information)
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