BENGUET State University, through the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry (BSU-IHFSA), spearheaded a series of training on Arabica coffee production and postharvest processing in the last two months held at the University's Pine-based Arabica coffee farm in Bektey, Longlong, Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet.

Results of research and development conducted by the institute formed part of the lectures in the trainings.

The first training centered on Arabica Coffee Nursery and Field Management was held on June 26-27. This was participated by the researchers and staff of the Higher Education Regional Research Center (BSU-HERRC), Climate Smart Agriculture Center (BSU-CSAC) and, BSU-IHFSA. These centers and institute are involved in researches on Arabica coffee.

Hence, the training aimed to equip these personnel with the sufficient knowledge on Arabica coffee production that they can use in their respective projects.

Other participants include executives of Kape ti Uma, an upstarting local coffee company with two of their farmer partners. The first day of the training focused on lectures, while the second day involved hands-on activities. The participants experienced actual sorting and sowing of coffee seeds, prepared potting media, potted coffee seedlings, field planted seedlings, and rejuvenated old Arabica coffee trees.

The second training also focused on Arabica coffee Production but this time included Postharvest Processing thus, dubbed as Seed to Cup. This was held on July 23-24, 2018 in collaboration between the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) at the National Sun Yat-Sen University (NSYSU) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Kape ti Uma.

Incidentally, CSEAS-NSYSU conducted an internship programme for their students in Benguet on July 18-August 1, 2018. As part of their internship, the participants attended the training aimed to acquire a better understanding of the coffee industry in the Cordilleras. The student-participants are actively involved in the coffee industry in Taiwan, either as coffee shop owners or coffee farmers.

Other participants were members of the Iwak Tribe of Itogon, Benguet, and other farmer-partners of Kape ti Uma. Interested individuals who enlisted at the BSU-Extension Office and BSU-IHFSA were also invited and participated in the training. The topics on nursery establishment and management, field planting and cultural management were lectured by Prof. Valentino L. Macanes. In addition, he also discussed proper harvest and postharvest processing of Arabica coffee.

Meanwhile, Prof. Andres A. Basalong, the institute director, tackled major plant diseases infecting Arabica Coffee and their appropriate management.

To complete the crop protection strategies for Arabica coffee, Prof. Bonie S. Ligat Sr., an entomologist, identified common insect pests of Arabica Coffee. He gave pointers on the management of these insect pests focusing on the cultural and biological strategies rather than using harmful insecticides. Similar hands-on activities from the earlier training were done. Hung-Jeng Tsais, Director of CSEAS, hoped that this collaboration and exchange of knowledge between BSU and NSYSU will continue in the future. Another set of training on postharvest processing and coffee cupping is scheduled on the last quarter of this year.

The series of Arabica coffee production and postharvest processing training is part of the extension services of the Institute to farmers, students, extension workers and other stakeholder with a goal of helping revitalize the Arabica coffee industry in the Region.