Davao City – The tribal town of Talingod in Davao del Norte relies on its unique coffee product, which will be promoted and marketed by the national and municipal governments, to attract more tourists to the area.
Mayor Clifford Lebayo said Talingod coffee has its own “unique flavour” due to the city’s topography.
“I think what makes our coffee more unique, the key is actually our elevation here in Talaingod, because we have a good elevation here in Talaingod. I think that makes the coffee in Talaingod good quality.”
Libayo said he plans to link coffee production in the city with the tourism industry and expand the market for local coffee producers.
He said Talingod has about 1,700 hectares of coffee plantations spread across different areas in the municipality. He noted that Talingod’s land area “is wide enough [meet] Growing Demand for Talingod Coffee.”
Talingod is located 112 kilometers north of Davao City. The Ata Manobo tribe make up the majority of the city’s population.
The Davao del Norte field office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has developed a plan to position Talaengod as a coffee corridor in the province.
“If you want to invite people to Talingod, we really want them to visit Talingod in person, get a taste of his coffee so we can confirm that this is Talingod,” DTI said.
Initial talks were held with local tourism industry players in Talingod to sponsor coffee production for Ata-Manobu growers organized into a grassroots organization, to grow Arabica and Robusta varieties. The Talaingod Coffee Growing Association (Tacoga) includes the young and women residents of Ata Manobo as its production staff.
DTI-Davao del Norte Provincial Director Romeo L. Castañaga said Talaingod needed to brand and promote its indigenous coffee. He said Talingod has not yet grinded a large amount of coffee to compete with existing production areas in Mindanao.
Castanaga said the taste of Talaingod coffee is its competitive advantage. “The market is really waiting for Talingod coffee.”
He said Takuga has been provided with production training and a joint service facility. The joint facility is a support mechanism provided by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to farmers and other community associations.
DTI has also signed up Tacoga members to the DTI Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for an overall development and growth project “to have a sustainable market for their coffee.”