Productive Uses of Renewable Energy or PURE technology which supports local community livelihoods is promoted through the European Union-funded Access to Renewable Energy Programme SOLARES (Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions) Project. PURE aims to provide the partner people’s organizations (POs) with modernized RE-based or solar-powered agro-processing machines to reduce operating costs (including use of diesel) and potentially increasing overall yield through appropriate and efficient technologies powered by renewable energy.
In line with the PURE projects on coffee processing, the project supports the upcoming coffee quality evaluation of Sultan Kudarat by coordinating several focal persons of the Offices of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAg) of Lebak and Kalamansig, Department of Trade and Industry Rural Agro-Industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development (DTI RAPID) Sultan Kudarat, ACDI/VOCA, local coffee POs, and other partners for PURE on the upcoming activities and priorities of the project.
On January 18-21, 2022, together with project staff Engr. Dhan Jaycle Diolanto and Engr. Jay Amiel Ajoc, the SOLARES project team conducted a meeting with representatives to discuss establishing the baseline data on actual quality of the coffee bean produced by the partner PO prior to the full commissioning of PURE machines through a localized coffee green bean grading, roasting and cupping and coffee quality evaluation in the province of Sultan Kudarat.
The team coordinated and followed up local government units of Lebak and Kalamansig and partner POs regarding the proposed activity for the samples, schedules, venues, and confirmation of participants. The team hopes to secure the green coffee bean (GCB) samples of the partner coffee POs in Lebak and Kalamansig; at least 1.5 kg GCB (premium, sorted). The team was able to collect the samples from the following peoples organizations: Keytodac Coffee Growers Inc., Agsam Farmers Association, Coffee Farmers Association Inc., Villamonte Coffee Growers Association Inc., New Calinog Coffee Growers Association Inc., Limulan Sustainable Livelihood Association, Hinalaan Integrated Coffee Farmers Association, Mahayahay Womens Association Inc., Tinandok Womens Association Inc., and Kalamansig Farmers Agricultural Development and Marketing Association.
The samples will be submitted to ACDI/VOCA for encoding along with entries from other provinces (South Cotabato, Sarangani, and North Cotabato). 25 samples all in all were consolidated and collected by the team which will undergo a series of tests/grading for January 24-28, 2022.
The team provided updates on priorities and remaining targets of the project. This includes the upcoming coffee evaluation activity and the Department of Agriculture XII Regional Field Office (Philippine Rural Development Project) PRDP-funded capability-building training. Engr. Ajoc shared this is the result of the program complementation of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. and DA-PRDP, along with enables present in the area.
The proposed activity will train and equip at least 50 participants composed of technical/focal persons from different pre-identified coffee POs on organizational strengthening/development, good agricultural practices training, and provision of good quality planting and post-harvest tools/equipment, which will later on form part of the pool of trainers of coffee mentors. The training is set for January 27, 2022.