A Tboli woman coffee farmer looks up to the waterfalls

To T'boli farmer Cedelia Mozo, the once lush greenery in their watershed now seemed almost barren and the powerful roar of the waterfalls grew fainter each day. The deteriorating state of the watershed, combined with unstable agricultural markets, has dealt a blow to productivity, discouraging farmers from returning to cultivation. 

In 2021, USAID Philippines, through its Safe Water project, recognized the potential of sustainable coffee farming as a viable livelihood opportunity. Collaborating with the US Department of Agriculture and local NGO partner Conrado Ladislawa and Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI), they established the Climate-Resilient Coffee Farmers' Field School. Indigenous peoples, including Cedelia, learned essential agricultural practices and processing techniques, vital for meeting the demand for high-quality beans and unlocking potential earnings. 

Their remarkable success inspired neighboring tribes and upland communities to adopt sustainable coffee practices, reforesting degraded areas with coffee trees and forsaking destructive practices. Equipped with USAID's support and knowledge, farmers in other villages achieved recognition and won prizes in coffee quality competitions.

Roar of the Waterfalls

Copyright © 2023 Romwell “Ouie” Sanchez

Country Philippines
Topics Agriculture, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, Education, Water and Sanitation

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