STAKEHOLDERS in Negros Occidental are gathering Tuesday, November 27, to form the Provincial Coffee Council, which is positioned to boost the local coffee industry.
Engiemar Tupas, senior trade and industry development specialist of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Negros Occidental, said at least 40 local coffee growers and producers are attending the activity held at the Negosyo Center in Bacolod City.
Tupas said the council will be comprised of coffee stakeholders including government line agencies such as the DTI, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
"The activity will be highlighted by the creation of the council which will serve as a body for the formulation of policies and programs for coffee development," he added.
The province currently has an association for coffee stakeholders, but not a council.
Tupas said that during the organizational meeting on Tuesday, the council might also discuss the directions and development programs in the province.
In terms of composition, it will just localize the National Coffee Council, he said.
"Our proposal is that OPA will chair the council with the private sector as co-chair. The DTI will be the vice chair and the rest of the stakeholders and line agencies will serve as members," Tupas added.
He also said that there is already a Regional Coffee Council in Western Visayas. But in order to make specific policies and programs in the province level, a council here is needed.
Meanwhile, local coffee growers and producers have expressed intentions to expand their operations, however, they lack machinery.
Part of addressing the gap, the DTI also tapped suppliers to present their products to the stakeholders this afternoon.
The activity will provide linkage among stakeholders and suppliers of equipment vital in further developing coffee industry in the province, Tupas said.