Coffee self-sufficiency targetted by 2015

Published by rudy Date posted on April 26, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine coffee industry is targetted to attain self sufficiency in the aromatic bean by 2015, enabling the country to save P3.5 billion from annual imports of the bean, following the agreement signed in October 2008 between the Department of Agriculture and the stakeholders in the sector.

From the signing of the agreement, the Philippine Coffee Board, chaired by Pacita Juan, reported that successful partners meetings have been held in Cavite, Bukidnon, Benguet and most recently in Bago City, Negros Occidental.

The partners’ meetings, attended by high value commercial crops (HVCC) regional directors of DA, provincial agricultural officers and NGOs engaged in coffee production aligned the Pilipinas! Gising at Magkape (PGAM) program in each region’s coffee rehabilitation plans.

Todate, the PCB and DA have united all farmers from 16 regions to pursue the vision of sustaianbility in coffee through organic farming. The Philippines imports 35,000 metric tons of coffee from Vietnam and Indonesia to address local demand.

Juan said PCB members along with HVCC Director Rene Rafael Espino travelled across the country to reinvigorate farmers on coffee production and marketing.

“The attendance to the partners and stakeholders’ meetings were very encouraging. We are in touch with farmers groups who have expressed their need for technical asistance and our Coffee Board members heeded their call,” Juan proudly declares.

Coffee experts gave hands-on training to farmers and PCB trustees Joel Lumagbas from Nestle and Dr. Andy Mojica from the academe attended to farmers in Bukidnon, Benguet and Negros Occidental.

The PGAM program is entering its second phase covering farms undergoing rehabilitation or new plantings come June 2009. Those wanting to partner with the PCB may contact or text 0915-5767886.–Rose De La Cruz, Philippine Star

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