Up until now, development agencies have focused on standard livelihood programs by providing support to poor communities for meeting their basic needs. However, given the magnitude and gravity of issues confronting the Philippines, in terms of economic, social and environmental dimensions, Hineleban believes that the approach to livelihood improvement should go beyond basic sustenance to include first, meeting food security that ensures better nutritional needs and, second supporting agro-forestry projects that will provide a level of “disposable income” for community participants. Hineleban calls this “Transformational Business Partnership”. wherein it helps to connect communities with interested private entrepreneurs in developing business ventures in crops such as, coffee, abaca, bamboo production, and possibly cacao.
In doing so, Hineleban brings into play what the private sector does best which is to ensure the availability of four essential elements: production technology, processing, quality control and access to markets. Through this approach, IP and the Bangsamoro communities have the chance of upgrade their level of production and processing, and also have access to buyers at fair market prices for products of consistently high quality. This in turn, helps the communities to not just meet their basic needs and security of food, but also enables them better affordability of social services for future generations to come as a result of disposable income that they can now earn for themselves. Our Hineleban Coffee partnership has clearly demonstrated this and we are now looking forward to scaling up our coffee production, as well as working with other crops to make this happen both in Bukidnon and the Bangsamoro.