Xavier University and Rocky Mountain Arabica Coffee Company (RMACC), a local subsidiary of Rocky Mountain Cafe, one of the more popular Canadian coffee company that offers coffee services all over the world, are currently in a partnership to develop a 50-hectare Arabica plantation in Bukidnon.
Last October 14, 2010, RMC and XU signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which both parties agreed to jointly promote the development of Arabica coffee in Mindanao by:
- Developing a minimum of 50 hectares of Arabica coffee plantation on XU properties;
- Setting up a training center to provide training to Mindanao Arabica coffee farmers;
- Establishing a training program on the best practices in Arabica coffee farming and processing;
- Establishing a research program on Arabica coffee production and processing;
- Providing thesis support grants to XU undergraduate and graduate degree students;
- Creating a joint laboratory that specializes in finding solutions to the problems of Arabica coffee farmers in Mindanao;
- Promoting entrepreneurship by setting up ROCKY MOUNTAIN coffee kiosks and franchises on the XU campus; and
- Providing job opportunities to XU graduates.
Accordingly, the Arabica coffee seedling nursery is established in Sumilao Bukidnon.
The plantation complex will be located in Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon and will include a nursery, a modern ecological coffee mill, a training center on Arabica production and processing, and the satellite farms of individual coffee growers around the plantation, who will be organized into a Bukidnon Arabica coffee farmers cooperative. It was also reported that site mapping and delineation of the plantation is almost complete.
The Arabica plantation will hire local men and women farmers for the labor-intensive Arabica coffee production and processing activities, particularly land clearing, soil preparation, application of farm inputs, planting, weeding, harvesting, drying, pulping, washing, grading and sorting.
The coffee complex is intended to contribute to the revitalization of the Arabica coffee industry in Mindanao and provide opportunities for farmers to use technologies that improve coffee yield and quality and subsequently increase their household income.
The recent launching of Cafe Ateneo was part of the said agreement. Cafe Ateneo retails MRC’s coffee.
PHOTO: Pierre Yves Cote, Rocky Mountain Café president, and outgoing XU president, Rev. Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, S.J., during the MOA signing last year.
with articles by C.M.C. Chaves and Bong Fabe