Prof. Jun Vizmonte, while introducing to the farmers the use of seedling trays

On January 25, 2011, PBCI team travelled to Brgy. Binuangan, Dupax del Norte, Nueva Vizcaya. Bishop Edgardo Docuyanan welcomed us and led us to their church where we would conduct the seminar on coffee farming. Twenty six (26) farmers from the area and the nearby barangays attended. The team introduced Fair Trade Principles and Arabica coffee farming.

On the following day, we reviewed the topics discussed on the first day, and challenged the farmers if they would commit to plant coffee trees. They all agreed to plant coffee trees according to the size of their lands. After we are done presenting to them, we were about to pack up when the Brgy. Captain volunteered to teach them about nursery preparation. It is then he admitted that he graduated with a degree in Forestry. After his lecture, we thought that it was over and that we are about to go. One of the Brgy. Councilors, however, initiated that they should take it seriously and begin organizing their own group.

They ended up with the name BUGKAI Fair Trade Farmers Association. BUGKAI represents seven (7) tribes, that is, BUGkalot, KAlanguya, KAnkaney, Ilocano, Isinai, Ibaloi, and Ifugao. After establishing their organizational name, they even elected their officers and set a schedule for their regular meeting. Their first meeting was scheduled February 1, 2011.

A few days after that, Prof. Jun Vizmonte of the Central Luzon State Universty, heard about the fair trade coffee farming seminar that we held there. We expressed to him that we would accept any technical advise that he could give us regarding agricultural practices, because he is an agriculture expert.

On February 25, 2011, he decided to go to Binuangan and give a training on good agricultural practices before the farmers plant their coffee seeds. We moved our schedule to fit with his, so that all of us could go there at the same time. We were surprised that he really prepared for this and even brought samples of seedling trays and poly-ethylene plastic bags. He recommends the farmers to use this technology in raising seedlings so that the roots and soil would be intact.

The farmers were excited to plant the coffee seeds. They ordered 11 kilograms of coffee seeds that are ready to be planted.

After the training, one of the members served a good lunch for us. While we were eating, we were surprised by the arrival of the Municipal mayor of Dupax del Norte, who even sat down and ate with us. We had a good conversation and she expressed her appreciation to what we are doing and what God is doing in Binuangan.

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