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The Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON through High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) conducted a consultation with coffee stakeholders (local government units and coffee farmers’ groups) of the region on May 21 – 22, 2019 at Days Hotel in Tagaytay City, Cavite.

Ms. Janice B. Fajardo, Regional Coffee Commodity Focal Person, presented the current situation of the coffee industry. In her presentation, she stated that small coffee farmers dominate the coffee industry in the country with an estimated average yield of only 0.25 – 0.30 tons of green beans per hectare due to the old age of trees, limited rejuvenation, poor farm practices, and poor coffee clone among others. As a result, coffee beans are being imported to fill the country’s insufficient supply.

“With these reasons, the HVCDP-Coffee will focus on improving the small coffee farmers’ productivity, profitability, and product quality; increasing production area; and providing market access and value-addition in coffee products,” Ms. Farjardo explained.

For instance, some of the projects for this year are the provision of free quality seedlings, rejuvenation of old trees, dissemination of relevant information, education, and communication (IEC) materials on coffee, and conduct of trainings on good agricultural practices for coffee, to name a few.

An open forum was held where different issues and suggestions of the stakeholders were duly considered and noted for the effective implementation of the presented projects.

Other topics were also presented to the stakeholders such as DA credit policy programs, coffee pests and its management, and Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Investments in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP).

One of the participants, Mr. Derry Exconde of Mameng Kape from San Pablo City, Laguna shared his story, insights, experiences, and tips in producing, sustaining, and marketing quality coffee.

Mr. Exconde encouraged all the participants to inquire with experts particularly with Regional Crop Protection Center in Los Baños, Laguna to protect the quality of their coffee and use all available means to market their coffee such as social media. • RFL, DA-RAFIS