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DTI backs coffee industry road map

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero February 14,2016 - 09:56 PM
coffee beans

Arabica coffee beans are being sorted in La Trinidad town. (INQUIRER)

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu provincial office has committed to support the five-year road map for the coffee industry.

Nelia V. F. Navarro, DTI Cebu provincial director, said they will coordinate with other government agencies in offering projects and programs to coffee farmers.

“We are aligning ourselves to the road map. Our cluster, what we will be focusing on, is enterprise development,” Navarro said during a recent investment forum on the coffee industry.

DTI plans to bring in several trainings for coffee farmers in line with product development, improving their brew and setting standards for coffee beans.

Training for coffee baristas and harvesters is also being considered.
“We want very much to be able to bring them to the market, for as long as we have the information that these farmers are producing good quality coffee. We will find a link for you in the coffee businesses,” Navarro added.

Taking the lead in implementing the road map until 2020 is the Department of Agriculture.

Navarro said coffee production in the Philippines has reduced to just 23,000 tons in 2002 from  70,000 tons in 1989.

From being one of world’s top exporting countries for coffee, the Philippines became an importer, buying over half of its coffee requirements from other countries.

Global demand, meanwhile, is increasing at an annual rate of 2.4 percent.

Navarro said some of the root causes of the decrease in production are reduced productivity of coffee trees due to aging, lack of post-harvest facilities, lack of road infrastructure and farm-to-market access, and worsening climate conditions.

There is also lack of information among the farmers about the different programs in the government that can help improve the quality of their products, she added.

“There are programs in place that the farmers can actually avail of from the different line agencies that will help them, but they do not because they don’t know they’re there,” Navarro said.

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