Tupi coffee will be great again

Come to Tupi you will not regret,
Stay with us forevermore.
If you’re fond of coffee,
Better come to Tupi
Here you will have your feel!

This is the last stanza of an old hymn of Tupi, a town in South Cotabato blessed with cool weather, towering 800 meters above sea level. It was composed by a local teacher named Ms. Patrocinia Marbas.

In the 1960s, the vast land of Tupi is planted with coffee. Old folks here who are still alive up to now could relate to this old song because once upon a time Tupi is the number one producer of coffee in the entire province of South Cotabato.

It was the glory days of coffee in Tupi in the early 60’s to late 80’s, delivering tons of coffee beans to nearby provinces and to as far as the Visayas.

As a young teenager in the 80s, Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. told members and guests during the inaugural ceremony of the coffee processing plant in Tupi, he vividly remembered that old song which best represent his town during that year.

Every household on that time was planting coffee and everyone was brewing their own coffee beans freshly harvested from their own plantations. Not until price of coffee in the market went down in the late 80s and the coffee farmers refrained to cultivate it more because of the situation. Suddenly, the coffee from Tupi became history.

However, recently Mayor Tamayo’s eagerness to revive the old aroma of Tupi coffee was realized after the Department of Agriculture through the Mindanao Rural Development Program now Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) opened up a new coffee processing plant complete with machineries—beans separator and automated roasting machine.

DA gave out a total of P5M to the members of Tupi Coffee Growers Association, Inc. for the infrastructure, machineries and trainings.

“We are blessed that we have this financial assistance. Let’s not put it to waste. This is our chance to perk up the road to success the coffee way,” Mayor Tamayo said.

With the help of the Department of Trades and Industry (DTI), Provincial Director Flora Gabunales is pushing to create Tupi instant coffee in sachet with coco sugar, a one-town-one-product from Barangay Palian of this town also.

“And we should tell other local governments in South Cotabato to serve Tupi coffee during official meetings,” Mayor Tamayo said.

With at least 120 members of TUCOGAI, Municipal Planning Officer Jolgen Dajay urged coffee farmers to produce quality product through proper cultural management. Trainings for coffee farmers are underway as part of the financial grant from DA.

Existing coffee shrubs in Tupi were rehabilitated in 2009, Municipal Agriculturist Danilo de Guzman said. Around 300 hectares of coffee, sprawling in at least 15 barangays in Tupi, are now producing at least 190 tons with 30 percent recovery. Coffee could be harvested within 12 to 18 months, de Guzman stressed.

The market buys P100 per kilo of coffee beans at this time.

With the new hope for coffee farmers, they certainly rekindle an old flame with coffee and indeed, Tupi coffee will be great again!

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