Fifteen Farmers Coffee Project aims to empower farmers in Mindanao who want to expand their livelihood opportunities by planting coffee on their land.
The organizers of Fifteen Farmers Coffee Project began with three objectives in mind: improve the quality of coffee produced in the Philippines; empower farmers to earn a higher price from their coffee; and encourage a sustainable agriculture model that emphasizes the importance of a healthy farm ecosystem. These objectives will not be met all at once; each builds on each other.
What has already been accomplished?
This campaign is raising funds to literally plant the first seeds toward meeting these objectives. We have already secured a source of high quality arabica coffee cherries from the Mindanao highlands that are ready to be planted. We have also established two important relationships: one with an in-country market who is paying premium prices for high quality arabica coffee and one with a local NGO.
Where are we going from here?
By providing equipment to construct a nursery in the target community in Mindanao, the small core group of farmers will have tools and supplies to raise their seedlings. By providing training, they will gain skills to enable them to give optimal care to their trees. Once the trees yield their first harvest, farmers will have access to post-harvest machinery as well as connections to the market. As time goes on, the core group of farmers will share their knowledge and skills with others in the community who want to plant.
This campaign is just a start and we want you to get onboard! We intend to broaden the project's reach over time by connecting more farmers with resource persons and institutions to offer training and support and continually evaluate the quality of their coffee.
We have set the tipping point at the absolute minimum amount of funds needed to get the project on its feet, on top of the resources we have already mobilized. If we reach our tipping point, the project will be able to support a minimal nursery including equipment necessities such as a water drum, watering hose, rich potting soil, and polybags to acommodate 3,000 seedlings.
If we are fortunate enough to reach our goal, the project will be able to support construction of a bamboo-framework nursery that will be equipped to manage shade and ward off insect pests. Additional equipment will include nursery shade nets, knapsack sprayer, wheelbarrow, and shovels. Funds will also support a caretaker from the community who will commit to raising the seedlings in good health until they are ready to be planted after six months. In addition, funds will support three training sessions for farmers. Training will be lead by a local agriculturalist who will provide farmers with arabica-specific skills for planting and production; pest management; and crop integration and shading.