TWO PAR COMMUNITIES TAKE LESSONS ON BECOMING ‘FARMERPRENEURS’ OF QUALITY COFFEE

Last 15-16 April 2021, the Binaton Bagobo Tagabawa Farmers Livelihood Association (BBTAFLA) in Binaton, Digos City gathered for their 3rd of six months Inclusive Development and Social Entrepreneurial Training. The following week, 20-21 April 2021the Kapeyapaan Farmers Association (KFA) in Alegre, Bansalan went through their 4th month on similar training. Both communities focused on becoming farmer-entrepreneurs or ‘farmerpreneurs‘ of quality coffee within the framework of peace and reconciliation principles.

Barangay Binaton, Digos City

The 3rd month of training for the BBTAFLA started off with an all-encompassing lecture by Ama Lakan and Ina Joji, about the coffee value chain. Our partner farmers were shown the integral parts of the coffee industry as a way to reveal the strategies on how to run a business.

Using Participatory Action Research as an approach, the PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. and Coffee for Peace Inclusive Development (PBCI-CFP IncluDev) team, gathered actual information from the community to help them realize and assess their current entrepreneurial processes.

Ama emphasized the advantages of being a farmer-entrepreneur and Ina highlighted the value of money and mastering financial management.

The next day started with a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) lecture from our Director of Field Operations, Sihaya Ansibod. Along the presentation of the dimensions of conflict, members of the Bagobo Tagabawa tribal council shared that the most common one that happens with them is cultural conflict. Sihaya then asked them about their customary laws and how their tribe find solutions to conflict.

Afterwards, Aldren Banal deepened the training on Coffee Quality through presenting a lesson on farm management. He expounded on coffee tree pruning, rejuvenation, pest control, and intercropping. Aldren then asked everyone to make a sketch of their farm. A meaningful close to the training came about as some of our partner farmers not only made a sketch of their current farm but also a sketch of their aspired designs and planned visions for their dream farm.

Barangay Alegre, Bansalan

The 4th month of training for the KFA in Alegre began with a profound presentation of conflict transformation and conflict resolution by Ama Lakan. He put emphasis on how conflict is inevitable but can be dealt with non-violently through dialogue and understanding. This PAR lecture was followed by extensive lessons on coffee processing methods (natural, washed, and honey processed coffee) and farm management by Ina Joji, Aldren Banal, and Sonny Bautista.

The next day, Sihaya Ansibod presented another PAR lecture on conflict energy management. She led a workshop on conflict resolution as she shared her own personal journey towards reconciliation. This then encouraged a couple of our partner farmers to share their own experiences on handling conflict within their families and communities.

Afterwards, green coffee bean defects were discussed by Aldren Banal, Sonny Bautista, Rosie Gonzaga, and Helen Malik. They showed everyone the color indications for defects and did a demonstration on the ways to sort parchment and green beans. The productive training finished with everyone a bit more confident on their coffee sorting skills, all thanks to the assistance of Aldren, Sonny, Rosie, and Helen.