PAHIMIS FESTIVAL BRINGS BACK INVESTORS

Amadeo, Cavite welcomed thousands of visitors for its 16th Pahimis Festival last weekend. The annual thanksgiving for coffee festival brought investors for coffee projects, most especially its banner program called “Adopt a Farm”. The original “leisure farm” idea started back in 2001 and resulted in over 100 hectares developed by investors for coffee farming.

Barako trees at ECHOfarm

Red coffee cherries are ready for harvest

“If you adopt a farm for just P10,000 a year, you can plant coffee and have a try at farming without incurring a huge investment, says Mayor Albert “Tic” Ambagan. “The amount helps farmers pay their real estate taxes and gives them a job managing your adopted farm” he continues.

Indeed, the idea is novel and very apt during these times when people want to try weekend farming. The only requirement? Plant coffee and its companion crops like bananas and pineapples, peanuts and even vegetables.

On top of this wonderful development,  other potential investors will put up coffee-related businesses like coffee shops along Amadeo-Tagaytay road, a Barista school and even an agricultural college.

The sudden downpour during Friday’s opening and blessing was welcomed by the townsfolk as manna from heaven. The blessings include the coming together of the two political sides in the coffee town. Further, the municipal leaders promised to open scholarships for students taking agriculture-related courses because we need younger farmers, especially in towns like Amadeo, which is so close to urban centers.

“The youth are being encouraged to take care of the land again, instead of getting jobs elsewhere,” Mayor Ambagan announced.

Amadeo has been the center of coffee-growing in upland Cavite and seeks to regain prominence this time not just in coffee but in Organic Farming.  The leadership of Ambagan truly steers the town back into farming coffee and developing the fledgling coffee industry and getting it back on its feet. The country needs about 120,000 MT of coffee while there is only 30,000 MT produced annually. Cavite accounts for about 7000MT, most of it in Amadeo and its environs like Alfonso, Silang, and Magallanes. These other towns have emulated Amadeo’s thrust into organic and coffee farming.

A hectare of land can easily fetch Php5-10 Million, but with “ Adopt a Farm”, all you need is a few thousand every year for adoption fee and the passion to try your hand at coffee farming.  There is a huge market, even just domestically, and exports are not far behind.

The Philippine Coffee Board Inc. will be having an office in Amadeo to help entertain inquiries from farmers and would-be farmer-investors.

 

 

Photos by Keith Dador

 

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