Since 2018, the Watershed Protection Project has been engaging 249 farmer-families in 265 farms for the planting and maintenance of agroforest trees in Datal Basak and Langaran, Maasim, ideal locations for growing coffee and abaca. Though initially targeting implementation within 700 hectares of forest in upland Maasim, Sarangani Province, the project has now planted agroforest trees in 712 hectares of land (as of December 2020).
This project also provided capacity building for 30 farmers in 3 farmers’ organizations (Holic Farmers Organization, Datal Basak Organic Farmers Association, and Moto Ladal Farmers Organization) through a 24-week training courtesy of the Abaca Climate Smart Field School, in partnership with Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (Phil FIDA) and USAID-Protect Wildlife.
Currently, the Watershed Protection Project has taken to conducting extensive monitoring of the newly established farms in the area, with focus on replacement planting. The plan is to plant more Abaca and coffee for forest areas, and Falcata, langka, and calliandra for open areas.
These choices of replacement species are motivated by the potential of each as key commodities — take Abaca for example. A total of 74,224 seedlings of Abaca have been planted in the area, equivalent to 46.39 hectares of land covered. With the use of the spindle stripping machine donated by the USAID, local farmer-families can now produce S2 quality of abaca for the first time. This will increase their productivity and income as individual abaca farmers.
Before the project and the USAID-donated spindle-stripping machine, farmers practiced manual stripping which would take them a month and a half to process the abaca. With the machines, farmers now harvest twice a year with abaca processing taking only 2 weeks with less manpower costs.
Through this project, CLAFI continues to work closely with our farmer and cooperative partners with the goal of enabling farmers to harvest and process abaca with more efficiency and frequency and increasing the quality of their product.
Abaca seedlings planted
of land covered
Arabica Coffee seedlings
of land covered
In addition to Abaca, CLAFI is also working with partner farmers in the watershed area to cultivate coffee. To date, the project has planted 189,079 seedlings of Arabica Coffee equivalent to 118.17 hectares of land covered. Our farmer partners also attended a USAID-funded Farmers Field School for Coffee, for them to learn better farming practices.
This watershed area is complemented by a 5-year technical assistance program of USAID Safe Water Project to support local farmer groups in the area.