My QUT experience inspired me to promote innovation, partnership, and entrepreneurship to the communities we work with. I have applied these learnings when we worked with geographically disadvantaged coffee farming communities in Davao Region. We helped organize and build the capacity of the community by providing sustainable coffee-based farming technologies and market access. We partnered with a private corporation for inclusive business and sourced potato planting materials for farm diversification.
During the pandemic, with strict lockdowns, moving their products for marketing was a challenge. We therefore made innovations in their marketing system by linking their produce with Kadiwa marketing and launching an online system.
With those strategies in place, members increased from 30 to over 200 in just two years. They have now become a stronger association and have consolidated their produce to leverage better market price.
Increased production and market activities also paved way to more government infrastructure investments such as roads connecting the farms to market areas.