Articles, Blog

Baslay Farmers Association (BFA)

We don’t have rice fields. We don’t have sugar cane plantations. We don’t have industries. But we have 120 hectars of naturally-grown coffee. We have really a micro-climate for growing coffee. We already have the environment, this is almost 900 meters above sea level. And we have a very fertile soil. This is not a typical coffee farm, we call this a coffee forest. As you can see around us, there are lots of coffee, and there is no prescribe spacing for here. Because we just let all this coffee grow naturally. We don’t apply anything. There are a lot of countless literature for the health benefits of drinking a naturally-grown coffee
or organic coffee. And it’s not just about coffee aficionado or coffee drinker. It must be a responsible coffee-drinking. My name is Ruel Perez. I am the Technical Consultant in Baslay Farmers Association (BFA) and I have volunteered myself here for the last 6 years. And I’ve been a member of this organization since I was 13 years old. So that’s a long time and… It was 20 years ago when I first embrace the love of the environment, the love of the life itself, the Mother Nature. When I graduated in college, I made a promise to really come back here. And… help improve the lives of my people. So I started volunteering here in 2013. When I came back, there were a lot of frustrations and questions. Our parents were the destroyers of the forests. All our farms were scattered up there. So, basically, those were our ways of life. we cut down trees for our crops, without knowing that all these things are very destructive to the environment. There was this realization that if we continue to do this destructive
way of farming, life will be lost for the next generation. So we started planting trees, we started planting coffee… And we let this forest go back to its lost glory again. My name is Thorsten. Originally I come from Germany, but now I am living always in
the Philippines. Me I’m a nature lover you know. I really enjoy coming here. This gives me really power and energy. With the friendly people also here. I cannot drink chemical coffee, this is a real coffee here. They have now also “Tapia”, a chocolate, which is natural. No chemicals inside, so I would like also to buy the chocolate here. When you plant a coffee with just one crop in your field. That is not sustainable. Why? Because you have to p ut all these
inputs there. You have to fertilize it. Every now and then you have to apply pesticides, you have to apply insecticides… because that’s monocrop. Here in Baslay coffee forest, we are trying to mimic or to replicate
the laws of the nature. For the only way for a coffee to become sustainable is by mimicking the laws of nature. You plant different species of trees, and when you plant different species of trees, many birds will come in, and those birds will also eat all those insects that will probably attack your coffee. So that’s it. That’s the nature of the eco-systems. That’s the only way for us to become sustainable. In the environment we can see life. There is always life in the environment. Everything we need is coming from the environment. And then we are here to protect the environment. By protecting the environment, we’re also protecting our live as well. That is the dream of everyone, and to prepare ourselves also for the next generation to come. That they can still experience what we have now. The direct beneficiary of the project is the active members of the project and the inactive members of the project. Hello, my name is Juliet Elloren. Before I worked in BFA, I go work in a bakery somewhere in San Jose. Then, I go home. Then I became a member of this association. My father is one of the member of BFA. Then I see something, that I can help BFA. BFA needs teenagers to become successful. I’m Aileen Inojaldo from here in Baslay, Dauin, Negros Oriental. I work here in Baslay Farmers Association, including this coffee shop. I work here not for self-interest and to help people and the members of the association. The place is so… not just like in the city, very crowded. And it’s a very, a nice place. You breather fresh air. Then you see our trees, then, you hear the voices of the birds. We have around 80 members. Including the inactive. And, the indirect beneficiaries are those within the community that we were able to inspire them. That we have something here. A really significant project that can be replicated in other areas who has also the ressources in coffee. You drink one cup of coffee here, you help a lot of people and the children to buy shoes, bags slippers, crayons, notebooks, medicines… This is not about profit-making but advocacy in promoting sustainable coffee. This is area is almost nothing as far as eco-tourism is concerned 6 years ago. So I see a lot of things here for eco-tourism. When you come here, you can learn a lot of things. How we care for the wildlife, the bees, bats, birds, and all these monkeys, and all these wild chickens… They are working for us for free in our coffee forest. And, what’s so special is we were able to reforest this area and provide them with their natural habitat. And in return, they help us pollinate our coffee, they help us fertilize our coffee forest… And, that’s how the ecosystem works. we are taking care of life here and many people will learn
a lot of things. It’s education. Agro-ecotourism education.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *