Talaingod hopes that the unique aroma of his coffee will attract tourists

City of Davao. The tribal town of Talaingod in Davao del Norte is betting on its unique coffee product, which will be promoted and sold by national and municipal authorities to attract more tourists to the area.

Municipal administrator Clifford Libayao said that Talaingoda’s coffee has its own “unique flavour”, possibly due to the city’s topography.

“I think what makes our coffee more special is actually our elevation here in Talingod, because here in Talingod we have a good elevation. I think that makes good quality coffee in Talingod.”

Libayao said he plans to link the city’s coffee production with the tourism industry and expand the market for local coffee producers.

He said that in Talingod, about 1,700 hectares of coffee farms are scattered across different areas of the municipality. He noted that the territory of Talaingod “is wide enough to [meet] growing demand for Talaingod coffee”.

Talaingod is located 112 km north of Davao City. Members of the Ata-Manobo tribe make up the majority of the city’s population.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Field Office Davao del Norte has developed a plan to position Talinggod as the province’s coffee corridor.

“If you want to invite people to Talaingod, we really want them to visit Talaingod in person and taste its coffee so we can emphasize that this is Talaingod,” DTI said.

Initial negotiations were held with local tourism industry players in Talaingod to patronize the coffee products of the Ata-Manobo farmers, who were organized into a people’s organization and grew Arabica and Robusta varieties. The Talaingod (Takoga) Coffee Growers Association’s production group includes young people and women from Ata-Manobo.

DTI-Davao del Norte provincial director Romeo L. Castanaga said Talaingod needs to brand and promote its coffee, which is produced by indigenous peoples. He said Talaingod still has to “grind a significant amount of coffee to compete with established production areas in Mindanao.”

Kastanaga said that the taste of Talaingod coffee is his competitive advantage. “The market is really waiting for Talaingod coffee.”

He said Tacoga has received performance training and provided a shared service center. The joint venture is a support mechanism that DTI offers to farmers and other community groups.

DTI has also included Tacoga members in the DTI Rural Agro-Enterprise partnership project for inclusive development and growth “so that they have a sustainable market for their coffee.”