The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-Safe Water Project visited the agroforestry site of the Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC), Siguil Hydro Power Corporation (SHPC), and Conrado & Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI), in Sitio Datal Basak, Brgy Kablacan, Maasim, Sarangani Province on June 23, 2022. During the visit, the USAID-Safe Water Team saw first-hand the thick forest developed and maintained by the Indigenous Peoples (IP) farmers, with the help of SEC, SHPC, CLAFI, and the USAID.
The visit aimed to strengthen partnerships on environment initiatives in celebration of Environment Month. The USAID-Safe Water Team, led by its Chief of Party Alma Porciuncula and Project Management Specialist, Joanne Dulce appreciated the partnership of SEC, SHPC, and CLAFI with the Indigenous Peoples in protecting the environment, and hope that other organizations can replicate this successful partnership.
Since 2018, Sarangani Energy Corporation, Siguil Hydro Power Corporation, and CLAFI have been supporting and capacitating IP farmers from the Datal Basak Organic Farmers Association, Holik Farmers Association, and the Moto Ladal Farmers Association on the production of quality coffee and abaca and connecting them to the market. This, in turn, improves their income and livelihood while protecting the environment. Through CLAFI, these three farmers’ associations were also able to receive support from other organizations and government offices, particularly the USAID, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), and Green Tropics Coffee Enterprise. Specifically, they received technical training, a Competence and Convergence Center purposely built as their training center, and an abaca spindle stripping machine that increased the quality and yield of their abaca produce.
The SEC, SHPC, and CLAFI, together with the Local Government Unit- Maasim, Philippine National Police-Maasim, Municipal Environment, and Natural Resources Office-Maasim, Office of the Municipal Agriculture-Maasim welcomed the USAID-Safe Water Project Team to the site.
At the end of the visit, a tree planting activity was held where the three farmers’ associations received 100 coffee seedlings each.