Davao City, August 24, 2023 — The Kapehan Sa Davao Network (KSDN) hosted a seminar titled “Building Sustainable Peace and Gender Responsive Coffee Industry” at Sebastian’s Restaurant in Barangay Baganihan, Marilog, Davao City. The event witnessed the participation of 36 prequalified individuals hailing from the Matigsalog Indigenous People, including farming cooperative leaders, youth leaders, spiritual leaders, and tribal leaders. The central theme of the seminar was conflict transformation in the workplace, with a specific focus on coffee farms and companies.

The day began with benchmarking and systematic listening sessions facilitated by Joseph “Ka Boyet” Ongkiko, Executive Vice President of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI). The major seminar topic was guided by Lakan Sumulong, President of PBCI, who provided insights on resolving conflicts within the coffee industry. Adding to the richness of the event, Joji Pantoja, CEO of Coffee for Peace (CFP), graced the occasion with a lecture on Coffee 101. She delved into the intricate life cycle of coffee, offering crucial information on coffee farming preparation, and illuminating market opportunities for coffee, both at the national and global levels.

This initiative is a significant component of the Kapehan Sa Davao Network, a pioneering project led by Coffee For Peace. Its primary objective is to accelerate the entrepreneurial development of coffee farmers within the Greater Davao Region. The program spans six months and is designed to be highly customized and needs-based for early-stage enterprises operating in the coffee industry. It aims to integrate peace-building, a gender-sensitive approach, and the indigenization of social entrepreneurship into all aspects of business growth and organizational development, benefiting coffee farmers and enterprises alike.

Crucially, this endeavor is part of the broader ADB Philippines SkillsUpNet Program, which was awarded to Kapehan Sa Davao. Comprising 10 Cooperatives and Associations under the leadership of Coffee For Peace Inc., and with the technical support of Upgrade Innolab Inc., the program aims to uplift local communities, empower indigenous peoples, and bolster the sustainable growth of the coffee industry in the region.

The seminar marked a significant step toward building a more sustainable, inclusive, and harmonious coffee industry within the Matigsalog Ancestral Domain. By merging peace-building principles, gender-responsive strategies, and indigenous knowledge, the Kapehan Sa Davao Network is nurturing a brighter future for coffee farmers and the entire community.

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