Issue of March 4, 2018
     
NEWS
Benguet
Ifugao
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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LT ready to increase current coffee production capacity
by Ofelia C. Empian

COFFEE COSMETICS -- The celebration of the first Coffee Festival in La Trinidad, Benguet has gathered various stakeholders from the coffee industry, including Shannen’s Hatchimitsu cosmetic products using coffee as its main ingredient. The products were exhibited in the two-day event last week aimed at recognizing the town’s coffee industry. -- Ofelia Empian

The municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet is accepting the challenge of the Department of Trade and Industry to increase its production of coffee plants during the staging of the first Coffee Festival last month.

The event with a theme: “Brewing unity through coffee” gathered various coffee stakeholders in the municipality who converged in the two-day event.

Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera Director Myrna Pablo said the Philippines is fourth worldwide in terms of coffee consumption but the country is not in the top list when it comes to coffee production.

“It is a challenge for the Philippines to improve its production because during the ‘80s, the Philippines was a top producer of coffee and then nawala na tayo, because our production decreased but the demand is increasing so there’s really a big gap between production and demand for coffee,” Pablo said.

She urged the coffee farmers and entrepreneurs to help in the country’s bid to increase coffee production. 

La Trinidad Municipal Agriculturist Felicitas Ticbaen said the coffee industry in the municipality is now gaining ground, as more and more farmers are taking interest in coffee production.

“We would like to take the challenge and we are very passionate and very positive. We can be able to achieve the increase of production, the average is 400 grams per tree, we can still increase that so long as we find the proper production culture and management if we have our irrigation,” she said.

She added the various programs to be implemented in the locality such as the Philippine Rural Development Projects on processing center to be situated in Barangay Wangal, slope protections in Barangays Alapang, Alno and Beckel and the irrigation systems through rain harvesting technologies to be introduced to the farmers.

Ticbaen also said there are various entrepreneurs delving into by-products of coffee such as wines and even cosmetics such as soap and body scrubs. This further widens the coffee industry and inspires coffee producers knowing that there is a steady market for the produce. 

Ticbaen said her office continues with the profiling of an estimated 1,000 farmers into coffee production, adding that most of the coffee growers are doing backyard gardening along with their high value crops as their main produce.

Pablo also urged those in the government agencies to patronize the local brewed coffee products instead of the commercial 3-in-1 coffee sold in the market.

The third Philippine Coffee Conference will also happen on March 20 and 21 at the Hotel Supreme in Baguio.


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