AYP Holdings Inc. President Albert Pingoy has invested in his environmental advocacy under AYP Foundation by creating an agro- forest from a denuded land by planting cacao and coffee in Tinungko, South Cotabato.
The 109-hectare forest was once denuded due to kaingin. What Pingoy did was to create a multiple canopy forest from coffee and cacao trees for six years. Today, the forest has a double canopy of hardwood (cadamba) trees and a canopy of cacao and coffee trees.
He said the creation of the forest aims to address climate change and mitigate soil erosion.
In an interview Pingoy said he got his coffee seeds from Geneva Switzerland and grew them here. These are registered seedlings of coffee and various varieties Robusta, Excelsa, Arabica, and Liberica.
He said more than 300,000 seedlings of coffee were grown. He also said they are looking at planting herbs and high value vegetables like lettuce and rosemary.
“With my created forest there will be no soil erosion because there is a top crop that covers the soil. They have flowered, now bear fruits. It’s a heartwarming to see that birds have returned,” Pingoy said.
But Pingoy does not only make forests. He also provides livelihood to the community around the forest. He said he gave the coffee beans to the community for free to provide them an alternative income.
“The harvest goes to the community. I don’t get a single centavo,” Pingoy said.
The forest land is under a 25-year lease.
“I am planning to lease another land somewhere else,” he said.
The forest was featured twice in a coffee table book of Landbank.
Pingoy handles 17 subsidiary companies which are Wind and Wave Davao, Prestige Boats, Hydromax, Aerowurkz, Laundryworld, Purewater, Capitaland, Financenter, Prestige Farms, AYP Construction, AYP Investment & Management Co., AYP Prime Forex, Davao Aviation Supply Corp.,Davao Ship Supply & Services Corp., Fiesta Mart,Prestige Motorworks Inc. and Prime Insurance Corp.
AYP Holdings Inc also manages Fiesta Airways, which is offering emergency medical services. Maya M. Padillo