Tuburan coffee farmers’ dream is becoming a reality
At the rate coffee farming in a midwest Cebu town is now growing, its mayor is looking into turning the municipality’s agricultural lands into tourist attractions.
Tuburan Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante said that making tourist attractions out of the town’s coffee farms will complement existing local travel destinations.
“We are developing cottages in the highlands, but for now, the roads leading to the area are really bad,” he told reporters during the blessing of the first Coffee Dream Plus outlet in Cebu and the country located at a mall in Mandaue City on Wednesday.
Coffee Dream Plus is homegrown brand Coffee Dream’s newest concept, which focuses on serving the “active, healthy, fast-paced, and contemporary lifestyle of the Filipino people.”
It will feature beans grown in Tuburan town, a second-class income municipality located 81 kilometers northwest of Cebu City.
Diamante said that the town’s partnership with Coffee Dream is a “blessing in disguise” because more people will get to know about their product.
As Tuburan coffee resonates with a bigger audience, Diamante said they hoped to be able to accommodate tourists who may consider visiting the farms in the future. They are also looking at more accommodation establishments within the town proper as only pension houses are present there at the moment, he added.
Diamante said the current thrust of the local government unit (LGU) is to get the national government to develop the roads leading to their coffee farms, which are about 12 to 14 kilometers from the town proper and 500 feet above sea level.
He said he targets to open the coffee farms to tourists in two to three years, or when the roads leading to the site are already fixed.
The mayor said he intends to reach out to the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the inclusion of Tuburan in the two agencies’ convergence program, which was established in 2012 to enhance tourism access by improving road networks leading to tourist destinations all over the country.
The town is already known for its Molobolo Cold Springs and Adela River, two destinations which the LGU is aggressively developing as well.
What started out as a project under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) National Greening Program (NGP) in 2011 has now grown into a coffee industry that supports more than 900 farmer beneficiaries working on highland farms with a total area of 2,850 hectares and covers 16 barangays.
After seeing how coffee farming can help alleviate poverty in the municipality, Diamante said he decided to adopt the program and make it more sustainable.
At present, Tuburan can produce 500 kilograms of coffee beans every month, some of which are also shipped to a roasting company in Cavite.
DOT Central Visayas Director Catalino Chan III welcomed the idea of Tuburan turning its coffee farms into tourist destinations.
“We will support that. It is part of our advocacy to help local communities,” he told Cebu Daily News over the phone.
However, Chan said Tuburan could not be included in this year’s convergence program budget since the allocation for 2017 has been finalized. He said he will try to check if it was possible to squeeze Tuburan in this year’s budget or have it included in the 2018 budget.
Coffee Dream president and founder Glenn Soco, for his part, said his company is committed to help the farming communities in Tuburan.
“Every cup of coffee ordered is one step to helping out our local farmers and the industry,” he said in a speech.
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