With all the resources and features mentioned in the previous article, we now go to the other most important asset of Apayao: its people.
Apayao’s Population: A Background
Apayao is the least densely populated province with 27 people per square kilometer. More than half of the population of Apayao identify themseslves as Ilocanos. Of the 10 cultural ethnic tribes, 70 percent or 41,439 belong to the Isneg group. Among the municipalities, Conner has the greatest number of ethnic groups on record.
While Apayao is not considered to be one of the poorest provinces in the country, it is still considered as a 4th class in terms of income. The low poverty incidence in the province could be attributed to the low population, with the whole CAR registering only at 1.7% birthrate in 2017. Agriculture and livestock are the primary sources of income.
Palay is the top temporary crop while banana is the top permanent crop. Hogs are the dominant livestock while chicken raising is the top poultry activity. In Luna, Apayao, the farmers used to cultivate coffee plants. Due to the local insurgency suffered by the region, the people decided to move to the lowlands and abandoning their plantation. Now that it is peaceful again, Good Harvest decided to help reinvigorate the farming activities of the locals by introducing by partnering with the government in launching the Enhanced National Greening Program.
Good Harvest Leading the Way
With the goal of helping the livelihood of the locals in mind, Golden Harvest proposed that part of the arable lands be converted to cacao farming. They believe that investing in the people through various seminars and training, coupled with the location and natural resources of Apayao, could help produce high quality cacao-based products in the future. Thus, helping both the locals and the local government and preserving the natural beauty of the province by pushing for sustainable farming, and putting the province and the country on the spotlight of the chocolate-loving world.
Good Harvest aims to provide the best cacao in the country, and in the region, by ensuring productivity and involving the community with respect to the environment.
Sources: Philippine Statistics Authority
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
Department of Environment and Natural Resources