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DOST, LGU Valencia support MANTALA in coffee processing

Coffee, probably the most loved beverage in the country and the whole world, is set to level up, especially the ones coming from the picturesque province of Bukidnon.

The Department of Science and Technology, in partnership with the Local Government of Valencia City and the Manggayahay Tribal Association Incorporated (MANTALA Inc.) are set to improve coffee processing through various science, technology, and innovation interventions. The parties sealed a Memorandum of Agreement on 16 January 2024 at Sitio Migtulod, Mt. Nebo, Valencia City, Bukidnon.

The signed MOA states the commitment of DOST and LGU Valencia to support the coffee production of MANTALA Inc., an organized group of Talaandig coffee farmers in Valencia City.

Through this partnership, DOST will provide coffee processing equipment including coffee pulper, dehydrator, coffee bean grinder machine, and more. DOST will also conduct training on Food Safety and Good Manufacturing Process for the beneficiaries.

With this technical assistance, 137 Talaandig farmers are expected to gain additional income.

During the signing, LGU Valencia, represented by the City Mayor, Hon. Azucena “Sunny” P. Huervas, pledged Php 2 million as a counterpart for the construction of MANTALA Inc.’s coffee processing facility.

This substantial contribution will empower beneficiaries to enhance their processing area, ensuring compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and paving the way for the acquisition of the License to Operate issued by the Food and Drug Administration. This commitment underscores the dedication to quality and sustainable growth in the local coffee industry.

“Ang usa sa atong mga labing bughat nga prioridad mao ang pagtabang sa IP Community sa Valencia City. Gikan sa City Mayor’s Office, anaa mi kanimo aron maglapnag og “Love at First Taste” nga gibati sa kape sa Migtulod aron makatabang sa panginabuhian sa mga Talaandig,” (One of our most significant priorities is to assist the IP Community in Valencia City. From the City Mayor’s Office, we are with you in promoting the “Love at First Taste ” experience of Migtulod coffee to support the livelihood of the Talaandig people), Mayor Huervas said.

The ceremony commenced with an indigenous ritual performed by the Talaandig community to honor their highest God, Magbabaya, and expressed their gratitude for the collaborative efforts of DOST and LGU Valencia. Datu Smith Ecat, MANTALA Inc. president, formally opened the ceremony, extending heartfelt thanks to DOST and LGU Valencia for their pivotal role in uplifting the livelihoods of Sitio Migtulod.

Adding a cultural flair to the proceedings, MANTALA Inc. treated the audience to a captivating cultural dance, inviting guests and participants to join in the celebration. The event continued with impactful messages from PSTD Ritchie Guno, Mr. Marven Selecios, and Hon. Azucena Huervas, emphasizing the significance of empowering indigenous communities to combat poverty.

Before the MOA Signing, Kapitan Luchie Baluco, the barangay chairwoman of Sitio Migtulod, expressed profound gratitude on behalf of MANTALA Inc., promising to cherish the interventions pledged by DOST and LGU Valencia.

“Kinasingkasing kaming magpasalamat sa DOST inubanan sa City Mayor’s Office sa inyong tabang kanamo. Isipon namo kining utang kabubut-on ug amo kining ampingan and inyong gipaambit nga equipment” (We wholeheartedly thank the DOST, together with the City Mayor’s Office, for your assistance to us. We consider this a blessing, and we will take care of the equipment you will give to us), said Kapitan Luchie as she delivered her speech during the ceremony.

This initiative is aligned with the first Sustainable Development Goal, aiming to eradicate poverty, as well as the eighth goal, focused on promoting decent work and fostering economic growth, as outlined by the United Nations. Furthermore, it is firmly rooted in one of the strategies of the Department of Science and Technology which is wealth creation. (Asmerah Sarip/ DOST Bukidnon)

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