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The Board of Directors of the Kapeyapaan Farmers Association in Bansalan, Davao del Sur met last Wednesday, 01 December 2021. They outlined their objectives for the coming year 2022. They are as follows: to streamline farm to market operation; to complete the collection of members’ contribution towards the association fund of PhP2,000 each; to complete the registration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as a regional farmers association; and, to get members’ Good Agricultural Practices Certification from the Department of Agriculture.

This association faces typical challenges that most farmers in the Philippines are experiencing: high cost of inputs, low price of produce, lack of capital, labor problem, lack of postharvest facilities, pest and diseases, and irrigation system. They realize that they cannot solve all these problems at once. So, for the coming year, they have identified the strategic actions necessary to sustain an on-going problem-solving and holistic development journey as a community.

Association funds. They have unanimously agreed to contribute PhP2,000 each to establish their seed fund. Seven of the 15 members immediately paid their share during the meeting. A significant part of this fund will be used to pay for their government registration as a farmer’s association. The rest will be used to buy coffee cherries among farming members.

Farm to market operation. The biggest challenge is transporting the farm produce, including the coffee cherries, from the farm to the market. So, they have identified a convenient place and time to drop their products off. Each farming family will take responsibility to transport their produce from their farm to the drop-off point during a scheduled buying day. Coffee for Peace (CFP) will make sure that a small four-wheel drive vehicle will be waiting at the drop-off point. A CFP staff will be ready to receive the produce and to pay cash to the farmers. The CFP staff will transport the produce to the CFP post-harvest facilities for processing.

Registration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). In order to be qualified for the government’s various programs to help the farmers, such as establishing a shared service facility(SSF), Kapeyapaan Farmer’s Association needs to be registered with DTI. The KFA Board agreed to register their association to operate in the whole Greater Davao Region.

Become GAP certified by the end of 2022. Because of the pandemic, many fruits and vegetable buyers want to be sure that their suppliers practice good farming procedures. So, KFA will apply for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification. This will enhance the credibility of KFA as a player in Mindanao’s agricultural industry.