HOPE FOR COFFEE GROWERS. Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan Jr. (2nd from right), DA 13 (Caraga) Executive Director Abel James Monteagudo (far right), and Las Nieves Mayor Avelina Rosales (3rd from right) lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a PHP19-million coffee processing center in Casiklan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte on Friday (Sept. 17, 2021). The processing center is funded under the Philippine Rural Development Program of the agriculture department. (Photo courtesy of DA-13 Information Office)

BUTUAN CITY – A coffee processing center that will be owned and operated by a group of local coffee growers will soon rise in Barangay Casiklan, Las Nieves town in Agusan del Norte.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) 13 (Caraga) formally facilitated the groundbreaking ceremony of the processing center on Friday, indicating the start of construction.

The processing center will be funded through the Philippine Rural Development Program of the agriculture department with a total budget of PHP19,022,445.77 and will benefit the Casiklan Wheels Farmers Association, Inc. (CAWFAI).

“You can see that this processing center will produce world-class quality coffee and can lead to an increased income and improved livelihood,” DA Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan Jr., who led the ceremony, was quoted as saying in a DA-13 statement released Saturday.

He also urged the members of CAWFAI to focus on value-adding on their coffee products to further the growth of their organization.

In his message, DA-13 Executive Director Abel James Monteagudo challenged the members of CAWFAI to work for the growth of their economic enterprise.

“The government is here to assist you but you should also help yourselves to achieve your goals, from production to marketing of your products,” Monteagudo said.

The target date of completion of the project is April 2022. (PNA)