Issue of September 29, 2019
     
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Ifugao coffee farmers trained on good agricultural practices
by Press release

COFFEE BENCHMARKING -- Ifugao coffee farmers belonging to the Hojap Multipurpose Cooperative learned from their fellow coffee producer and certified Arabica Q grader trainer, Jennifer Rimando of Sagada Mountain Province, when they visited the Ola Organic Coffee Farms during the two-day technical learning tour recently. They were trained on organic farming techniques such as weeding, pruning, rehabilitation, and rejuvenation of their existing coffee trees. -- Contributed photo

For the coffee industry in Ifugao to be commercially viable, farmers must increase production and upgrade coffee quality first.

Arabica Q grader and trainer Jennifer Rimando emphasized this before participants of the two-day technical learning tour at Ola Organic Coffee Farms in Sagada, Mountain Province recently.

Fifteen coffee farmers of Hojap Multipurpose Cooperative (HMPC) from Ifugao visited Rimando’s farm to learn good farming practices in coffee production and quality enhancement. They were trained on organic farming techniques such as weeding, pruning, rehabilitation, and rejuvenation.

Rimando added that experiential learning through on-farm training gives farmers more concrete ideas they can replicate.

She pushed for the rejuvenation of old coffee trees to further boost productivity.

“Rejuvenation makes the coffee trees young again,” she said.

Coffee rejuvenation, according to the Department of Agriculture, is the cutting of vertical stems of old trees to induce growth of new sprouts. It is a widely accepted practice for revitalizing coffee farms and has been found to be better than replanting.

Rimando said studies revealed that rejuvenation could bring back coffee green bean yield to 100 percent and could lessen labor cost by 50 percent.

The trainer added that trees of more than 10 years old can be rejuvenated and the practice should be done during the rainy season.

Shirley Tagtag, general manager of HMPC, said the training addresses the low productivity of coffee trees despite the high demand for coffee products.

The learning tour, Tagtag said, will also encourage farmers to rejuvenate their trees.

HMPC partnered with Peace and Equity Foundation through its Social Enterprise Institute in facilitating the training of the coffee farmers.


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